Health & Fitness, Pregnancy, Women Guide

Can I play sports during pregnancy?

Fitness for Mom and Child: Just as much sport as well – Of course, a woman’s life changes fundamentally when she learns that she is pregnant. However, that does not mean that she has to change all habits immediately. This also applies to the topic of sports during pregnancy.

Fitness and relaxation programs for mom and baby

The fetus in the womb senses the sensations of its mother. If the sport had a special significance in her life before pregnancy, a pregnant woman should not refrain from doing so. Regular sports and yoga exercises provide fitness for mom and baby.

According to the information portal “Sport and Pregnancy” (initiated by the German Sports University Cologne), a high pulse rate in the mother also leads to an increase of the pulse in the baby from 140 to 160 beats per minute. A calming of the pulse beat but is very fast so that the athletic activity of the mother also acts as a fitness unit for the baby. If the baby is kicking and turning in the abdomen, the pulse rates are also briefly 160 and more per minute.

Also, sport in pregnancy can be proven:

  • Prevent or alleviate back problems
  • Reduce water  retention,
  • too strong weight gain  counteract
  • the risk for gestational diabetes as well
  • Minimize depression.

Autogenic training offers, such as yoga, also strengthen body awareness. They provide pregnant women with relaxation and breathing techniques that may also use during birth and feel soothing. Even more intense workouts rarely have a negative impact on pregnancy, according to a large study from Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Only as much sport as it does well

The well-being of pregnant women in sports and the medical opinion are considered as an important indicator of whether the selected sports program for mother and child is recommended or not.

It should also be remembered that it is different in every phase of pregnancy. The tremendous physical changes of the first weeks of pregnancy often provide for lower performance. After about three months, the hormonal symptoms, such as extreme tiredness or nausea, are over. Between the fourth and sixth month of training is usually easily possible. The stomach is not that big that it bothers, and the body has gotten used to the hormonal changes.

However, due to the increased release of the hormone progestin, you should be a little more cautious in sports that put more strain on your joints. Gestagen relaxes the joints and ligaments so that the pelvis is more elastic during birth. For this reason, all joints are vulnerable to injury. Running on heels also requires more attention because the ankles are more unstable.

In sports, it is advisable to pay attention to quality, high-quality sports shoes. In the last trimester of pregnancy, experienced joggers should also walk to preserve the joints. Sports, such as swimming, water aerobics or cycling, compensate for the extra body weight very well.

Generally, sports in pregnancy are endorsed by most gynecologists when:

  • no risk of pregnancy  is,
  • the sport is not associated with fall and other injury hazards (e.g., handball),
  • these are not sports associated with a reduction in oxygen uptake (such as stays at altitudes exceeding 2,300 meters, longer or deeper dives),
  • the physical activity is not associated with vibrations or strong vibrations (such as training with the vibration plate).

The impact of sports on the birth process

The birth of athletes is statistically just as in women who do little or no exercise during pregnancy. The pain is perceived similarly. Endurance and pain tolerance, however, are higher in many athletes, so that fewer painkillers and obstetrics are necessary.

Also, the recovery sets after the maximum physical performance of birth in trained pregnant faster.

Tips from gynecologist dr. Verena Breitenbach

Sport during pregnancy reduces many risks

Healthy pregnant women can and should do sports during pregnancy. He is healthy for her and the baby. On the one hand, it strengthens the muscles of the expectant mother, which makes it easier for the body to handle the weight of the baby’s stomach. Also, sports reduces the risk of thrombosis and diabetes and helps prevent varicose veins and stretch marks before. Even pregnancy-related symptoms such as nausea and vomiting can be reduced. Sport prevents the placenta from being under-supplied, and perhaps even the risk of itching.

The child also benefits from it

It has long been known that sport trains the hearts of adults and pregnant women alike, but a new study at the Kansas City University of Medicine has shown that children’s hearts are also trained, as demonstrated by the CTG.

Most sports are allowed

Women should do the sport that they feel like and what their body feeling tells them. Gymnastics, walking, yoga and similar sports are without risk. Even sports such as jogging do not increase the risk of miscarriage. Not even riding leads after studies to increased miscarriages.

The biggest danger is falls and injuries. But even there the baby rarely happens. Of course, then, sports such as skiing are more critical.

Only a few sports are dangerous

It is not recommended to practice sports such as diving or sport at an altitude of more than 2500 meters, where the oxygen supply is reduced.

More happiness during pregnancy through sports

Overall, sport helps mother and child to manage stress better, releases happiness hormones and can make the pregnancy much easier and more enjoyable.

The pregnant woman should follow her body and intuition which sport is really good for her. Starting dangerous new sports certainly makes no sense.

If you experience problems such as premature labor, cervical or other conditions, you should talk to your gynecologist about it.


  • From my experience in pregnancy prevention, I recommend you to be physically active during pregnancy. Sport protects you from many pregnancy problems. For women who have not exercised before pregnancy, especially swimming – or other sports in the water such as aqua-jogging, -spinning or – Zumba is recommended. The movements are much easier in the water and the joints are spared.
  • I would abstain from doing sports with high injury potential such as riding, skiing, etc. during pregnancy.
  • Special sports courses for pregnant women such as yoga or swimming are especially recommended, as the course management is specially trained and can be particularly attuned to the pregnant participant. Also, it has the nice side effect that often friendships between the course participants arise and you can meet later with the children on.

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