Natural Birth

What exercise programs did you or are you doing while pregnant?

I am wanting to do some exercise programs while pregnant (if dr clears me). What exercise programs did you take or are you taking during your pregnancy? Did they help your labor process?

Re: What exercise programs did you or are you doing while pregnant?

  • ash484ash484

    I've been exercising 5/6 days a week since, and have been feeling great! I would work out about that much before pregnancy though, and my Dr said I could continue what I did previous to getting pregnant. I'm also prenatal certified in Fitness, so that has been a huge plus. I feel SO great still, and at this point in my first pregnancy I got lazy and tired and didn't want to exercise, so I didn't, and I got super bloated and even more uncomfortable! So, after talking to your dr of course, I would definitely do some working out!


    I do light weight lifting (5 - 8lbs dumbbells) a few times a week (I actually follow the Tone It Up workouts, and modify to my abilities being pregnant!), but you can find a lot of light weight lifting for pregnancy on, I'm sure.

    Then on the other days (as well as the days I do light weight lifting) I try to get some cardio in. Mostly the stair stepper at the gym, but also just walking, or even a cardio workout video (I have some laying around the house!) that I modify.

    Yoga is super important to, and I feel great doing it, but I can't seem to find the time to relax away from my toddler to really enjoy it, so it's hard to get to! But if I could, I would be doing it every day. (You tube prenatal yoga, there's a lot of good videos!)

     Overall, you should definitely ok it with your doctor and only do things that make you feel good during and after =-)


    Sorry so long, it's just something I'm passionate about! - Exercising while pregnant! (Even though I didn't exercise as much the last few weeks of my first pregnancy, I do believe that exercising through out that pregnancy really helped my labor and delivery! Only 9 hours total, 4 of that in the hospital, 4 pushes to get baby out, and great 4 week recovery!)

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  • I ordered the "what to expect when you're expecting" workout from Amazon, and I love it! I'm also looking for a yoga DVD to add to my workout routine. I also use the treadmill and elyptical machines at the gym where I work (love that my office has a mini-gym!) I also try to go for 20-30 minute walks whenever I can. I feel pretty good, and luckily haven't had too much pain or aches so far. Sometimes I can get a little stiff if I'm at my desk for too long, but the WTE dvd has some great stretches that help a lot. Good luck!
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  • Last time, I continued with what I was doing which was lifting fairly heavy weights (continued to 34 weeks or so) and interval cardio (dialed back the intensity but continued). I also took a non-prenatal vinyasa yoga class up to about 36 weeks.

    This time, I was not in that level of good shape when I got pg so I've stuck to prenatal yoga and walking. 

    Yoga was great for labour, physically and mentally. The strength training was great for keeping my poor pregnant body held together - I'm feeling the difference this time from not having the same strength to cope. 

  • mb314mb314
    250 Answers 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary

    I exercised through my entire pregnancy.  I ran up until about 6 months, at which time I started to get cramping and my midwife advised me to stop.  I then walked, di the elliptical and swam.  I was able to swim up to 60 or 70 laps and do flip turns until my 8th month.  Swimming was great, particularly since I was pregnant in the hot southern summer.

     I also did back and some stomach strengthening exercises (planks stretches, etc), as well as the exercises prescribed by the Bradley classes (pelvic rocks, squatting, etc).  

     Overall, I think exercising helped keep up my energy during pregnancy and helped me feel in shape for labor.   Doing the 160 or so Bradley pelvic rocks  every day helped me be used to being on my hands and knees for an extended period.  I labored mainly on my hands and knees and felt like the pelvic rocks had prepared my arms and knees for it.

     Now I'm 8 months pp and wish I could exercise like I did when pregnant!  I have so much trouble finding the time!


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  • I was horribly sick during 1st tri so i didnt start exercising till 2nd tri. I still don't do nearly as much as i did pre pregnancy but i would say yoga has been a life saver. I have about 3 1/2 weeks to go and my energy is still through the roof. I try to walk about an hour a day and do a yoga class once a week. Im obviously huge at this point so i cut down on cardio but i think just keeping myself moving has helped make 2nd and 3rd tri a breeze and im praying it helps with labor too
  • I love walking. I walk with DS in the stroller as much as I can. Even if it doesn't help during labor, I hope it will help me get back into shape more easily after baby is here.

    Married to the love of my life 8/14/09
    Our sweet little Easton was born at home 3/15/12
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    Baby Heidi was born at home (picture perfect homebirth!) 7/28/13

  • wainbowwainbow
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments

    image BreanneL24:
    I love walking. I walk with DS in the stroller as much as I can. Even if it doesn't help during labor, I hope it will help me get back into shape more easily after baby is here.

    This! I'm walking like a mo' fo!

    Especially on the beach, walking in the sand is a great workout.  On days I walk I find I sleep better and my digestion is better, too.

  • I've been running 3 miles once a week, doing Jillian Michaels 30DS, Erin O'brien's prenatal DVD, and I do 2-3 two mile walks each week.  My goal is to "work-out" 3 days a week and walk at least 2-3 of the "rest" days.  

  • Walking and yoga here.

  • I rode my bike until 38 weeks or so, and also swam regularly (did laps with a paddle board) during my second pregnancy. Both were great and I do think they helped keep me in shape for labor.
    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

    100 Comments 100 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper

    I walk 30-40 minutes 3-4 times a week, take a yoga class (not prenatal, but I modify a lot) twice a week, and do the Summer Sanders prenatal workout exercise video once a week or so. I try to do something every day. If I miss a yoga class, I do Shiva Rea's prenatal yoga video.

    Before I was pregnant, I ran 3-4 times a week, but I had to stop during my IVF cycle, and then I didn't feel up to exercising during most of the first trimester. Exercising during my second trimester really helped, though, and I think it's made a difference. Its definitely getting more difficult these days, but I'm glad to be sticking with it! I hope it makes my labor, or at least my recovery, easier too!



  • Pilates all the way. Great for your core and your pelvic floor (something you do NOT want to neglect!). The breathing techniques were hugely helpful for me to manage contractions.
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    DS: September 2012
    TFAS: July 2014

  • I walked every single day up to 38 weeks pregnant. I stopped because I didn't want to go into labor because my awesome OB was out of town for a week. Then I started walking again after 39 weeks. After being 3 days overdue, I decided to take three walks one day and I magically went into labor that night! From start to finish it was 6 hours :) I thought going natural with DD was much much much easier than all the medical intervention with DS.
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  • With my first, I went to the gym 3-4 times a week until about 8 months pregnant, walking quickly/uphill on the treadmill and doing light weights and machines. I also walked a lot outside of the gym.

     With my second, I walked a lot for the first 6 months, but never did any 'real' exercise.

    My first pregnancy, labor and delivery went so easily and smoothly until delivering at just about 40 weeks. My second had me in and out of the hospital with premature labor from 34 weeks until I delivered at 37 weeks. Both were natural, but I progressed more quickly and had a much easier time with the first. That is saying something considering my first baby was 9 pounds, turned the wrong way and came out with a hand on his face. My second baby was only 5 lb 13 ounces.

    There were a lot of factors involved (I got pregnant with my second very quickly, I had a lot of stress with my second, we moved abroad when I was 6 months pregnant, I was taking care of a baby throughout the pregnancy, etc.). However, I really do think your physical shape plays nearly as important a role as your emotional and spiritual well-being (which is SO important with natural births, imo!).

    This time I've joined a gym and am doing the treadmill, light weights, machines and stretching again at least 3 times a week (despite having two babies at home and working two part time jobs). It is hard to make the time, but I really think it will be worth it come delivery and recovery!!

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