First Trimester

0 to 13 weeks/1 to 3 months

Women generally experience nausea, fatigue, breast tenderness and frequent urination during this trimester, although everyone’s experience is different. This is the most important stage of your baby’s development, when most of their body structure and organ systems develop. Most miscarriages and birth defects occur during this period.

Exercise during the First Trimester:
  • Do not commence any NEW forms of exercise during this stage.
  • If you were currently and regularly exercising when you became pregnant, you may continue if you so choose. Some women prefer to wait until the 2nd Trimester to recommence or even start new exercise, just to be on the safe side.
  • When continuing training, reduce the resistance(i.e.: use less weight) and increase the repetitions.
  • Relaxin (the Stretch Hormone) levels will now be on the rise until about week 12: take extreme caution when stretching and performing any dynamic movements: ligaments can easily be overstretched at this stage. Pregnancy is NOT the time for increasing your flexibility!
  • Avoid inner and outer thigh work (the hips are becoming hyper mobile and we don’t want to hurt them due to the excess pressure that will be going onto them)
  • Gentle walking and one to one pre-natal Pilates with a qualified instructor is ok and even recommended at this time.
The above are all guidelines but it may be that you are able/unable to achieve certain positions/exercises at different stages of your pregnancy. The best advice is always to practice caution, this is not the time to lose weight or increase fitness. You should be concentrating on relaxation, maintenance of health and enjoyment of your pregnancy.

Exercise During Pregnancy

Pre / Post Natal Exercise

Second Trimester

14 to 26 weeks/ 4 to 6 months

Third Trimester

27 to 40 weeks/ 7 to 9 months

When To Stop

When to cease exercising during pregnancy

Post Natal

Post natal exercise