Exercise during Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Exercise - with Osteopath Nicole Cukierman at Fertile Ground Health Group

Exercise during pregnancy should be done and is safe in a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy. In fact, performing the recommended type and amount of physical activity during pregnancy achieves health benefits for mother and baby including reduced risk of pre-eclampsia, pregnancy induced hypertension, a reduction in instrumental delivery and unplanned caesarean section birth and may help to reduce the severity of lower back and pelvic girdle pain 

According to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) evidence- based guidelines for physical activity in pregnant women, it is recommended that in a normal pregnancy woman participate in 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity or if previously exercising can continue 75-150 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise per week. 

This can be completed over a minimum of three days per week, however, being active every day (ideally 30 minutes per day, less if previously inactive) is encouraged and doing some physical activity is better than none. 

Training should be a combination of aerobic (brisk walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, exercise classes) and strength (body weight, light weight or resistance band) exercises and exercise intensity will vary depending how physically active you were or we not pre-pregnancy. Women who were active prior to conceiving can continue with their usual activities for as long as they feel comfortable but are advised to check with a health professional if they would like to continue with vigorous intensity or high impact sports and exercise 

 Additionally, some exercises may need to be modified as your pregnancy progresses due to biomechanical changes and pain i.e. After 16 weeks it is best to avoid exercises lying on your back. 

Exercise is not recommended in all circumstances. The following are cases in which exercise is not recommended; 
  • Incompetent cervix  
  • Ruptured membranes, preterm labour 
  • Premature labour 
  • Persistent second or third trimester bleeding  
  • Placenta previa  
  • Pre-eclampsia  
  • Evidence of intrauterine growth restriction  
  • Multiple gestation (triplets or higher number)  
  • Poorly controlled Type 1 diabetes, hypertension or thyroid disease  
  • Other serious cardiovascular, respiratory or systemic disorder  
Stop and seek advice from a health professional if you experience any of the following while being physical activity: 
  • Chest pain 
  • Persistent excessive shortness of breath – that does not resolve with rest  
  • Severe headache 
  • Persistent dizziness / feeling faint – that does not resolve with rest 
  • Regular painful uterine contractions
  • Vaginal bleeding 
  • Amniotic fluid loss 
  • Calf pain, swelling or redness 
  • Sudden swelling of the ankles, hands or face 
  • Decreased foetal movement 

 Still unsure what physical activity you can or cannot be doing during pregnancy speak with your health care provider before starting an exercising program 

*Exercise intensity ratings are based on ratings of perceived exertion on a scale of 1-10 where 1 is not moving and 10 is maximal effort. Activities in the range 3-7 indicate moderate-vigorous intensity and are considered safe and are recommended for health benefits in pregnant women. This can also be judged by the ‘talk test’ in which a conversation can be held during moderate intensity activities but difficult during vigorous activities. 

Written by Dr Nicole Cukierman, Fertility, Pregnancy and General health Osteopath.

Book in with a Fertile Ground Osteopath and find out what’s possible for your situation.


Brown, W.J., Hayman, M, Haakstad, L.A.H., Mielke, G.I. et al. (2020). Evidence-based physical activity guidelines for pregnant women. Report for the Australian Government Department of Health. Canberra: Australian Government Department of Health. 

How to alleviate Summer pregnancy discomfort

Alleviate Pregnancy Discomfort Fertile Ground Health Group

Pregnancy can cause varied levels of discomfort no matter what time of year it is. However, an increase in blood volume, fluid retention and a metabolism working in overdrive through summertime seems to take the cake in terms of a heightened sense of discomfort 🤰🥵

Luckily, there are a few easy tips that will help you stay cool and comfortable this summer 🌸



Guidelines recommended that pregnant women drink 8-12 glasses of water each day and more if exercising. Water helps regulate your body temperature, when you are hydrated your body is better able to release heat (primarily through sweat).  It’s important to make sure you replace the water leaving your body!



Swimming has numerous benefits in addition to cooling you down – it is a whole body workout, increases circulation, provides relief from swelling and minimises stress! Exercising is an important part of maintaining health during pregnancy and doing so in a safe body of water avoids any risk of overheating in the summer sun.



Pick some of your favourite fruit with or without some yogurt (for a diary free option) and make your own refreshing ‘nice’ cream or icy pole. Healthy, refreshing and full of vitamins and minerals!



These items speed up the evaporation of sweat allowing your skin to cool quickly, plus they don’t dig in. Pop on light colour and your clothing will absorb less heat too.



Open your windows in the evening and overnight once the temperature has dropped then in the morning close the windows and blinds to trap the cool air in.


  1. HIBERNATE 🛌 🛁

Be sure not to push yourself when temperatures soar. When the weather is exceedingly hot give yourself permission to find a cool room and snooze. Napping is another trick in cooling your body temperature. Better yet, enjoy a cool bath with relaxing music or a calming meditation. Luckily for us two of Fertile Ground’s elder naturopaths have made a series of pregnancy specific meditations for nausea relief, early pregnancy, sleep, breech, overdue babies and more, which you can find here.



Aloe Vera, Areca palm tree, Ficus tree, Fern and Snake plants all cool and purifying their air space. Pick one up yourself or ask someone to purchase for you as a lovingly supportive gift!

These are just some of the ways to bring more comfort to you through a summer pregnancy.

Written by Dr Nicole Cukierman, Fertility, Pregnancy and General health Osteopath at Fertile Ground Health Group.

Dr Nicole Cukierman is available for one on one consultations in person at Fertile Ground Health Group. Book in with Nicole and find out what’s possible for your situation.