This article is from the General Pregnancy FAQ, by swnymph@FensEnde.com (Sabrina Cuddy) with numerous contributions by others.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Lisa Stone)
1. Listen to your body. If something feels uncomfortable or painful,
don't do it.
2. Avoid any exercise while lying on the back after the first
trimester. This position can cause the growing uterus to restrict
blood return through the vena cava which lies directly behind the
3. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise. You need
to stay well-hydrated to regulate both your body temperature and your
4. Exercise in a well-ventilated area and wear loose-fitting,
breathable clothing to prevent over-heating.
5. Be aware of your changing center of gravity. Avoid any activity
that involves sudden directional changes or that risks even mild
abdominal trauma such as downhill skiing, rollerblading, horseback
6. Exercise regularly, preferably 20-30 minutes a day at least 3 times
per week. Regular exercise will reduce the chance of injury and will
help keep you in shape for "Labor Day."
7. Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to exercise the
Kegel or pelvic floor muscle daily to prevent urinary incontinence and
uterine prolapse, and to enhance sexual pleasure. Practice this
exercise by stopping and starting the flow of urine. Once you have the
hang of it, do not continue to perform the Kegel exercise while
urinating, but rather perform the exercise while driving in the car or
talking on the phone. Try to do at least 100 every day.
8. Pelvic Rocking is very good for the back and belly muscles - make
sure to do these in a slow and controlled manner to avoid injury, and
they can be valuable! Carefully let your belly sag towards the floor
by tilting your pelvis forward - do not do this very far down, just
a small tilt, then back to neutral, pulling the abdominal muscles in
as you pull your back up. Do 20-40 at a session 4 times a day, and
work up to 80 at bedtime. These exercises help keep baby from being
in a posterior position and improve circulation to the lower body.
The circulation benefit will be enhanced by lying down for at least 10
minutes after exercising. (this paragraph added by Sabrina after
consulting with Lisa!)