Just the facts: to make your life a Little easier, we’ve compiled some of the most important facts to keep in mind during pregnancy. Save this page!

Just the facts: to make your life a Little easier, we’ve compiled some of the most important facts to keep in mind during pregnancy. Save this page!


The following is a summary of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ guidelines for exercising while pregnant (from Obstetrics & Gynecology 2002; 99:171-173).

1. Pregnant women are encouraged to engage in 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise on most, if not all, days of the week in the absence of contraindications (see “Don’t Exercise If …” below). As always, check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

2. After the first trimester, pregnant women should avoid standing motionless for too long and exercising while lying on their backs.

3. Participation in a wide range of recreational activities appears to be safe. However, activities with a high risk of falling or abdominal trauma should be avoided. These activities include in-line skating, ice hockey, soccer, horseback riding, basketball, gymnastics, downhill skiing and vigorous racquet sports.

4. Scuba diving is not safe at any time during pregnancy.

5. Exertion at altitudes of up to 6,000 feet appears to be safe. However, engaging in physical activities at higher altitudes carries various risks and should be avoided.


Diastasis, which sometimes occurs during pregnancy, is a separation of the two halves of the rectus abdominis muscle in the middle of your belly. You can check for it by lying on your back with your knees bent. (If you feel faint, roll to your left side; then use pillows under your shoulders to prop yourself up.) Place your fingertips 1 to 2 inches below your bellybutton. Lift your head and feel for a ridge protruding from the midline of your abdomen–that’s a diastasis. If you have it, don’t be alarmed, but do take care not to exacerbate the separation when you do abdominal exercises. Try a modified ab crunch: If you are past your first trimester, prop yourself up with pillows so your shoulders are higher than your belly. Wrap a towel around your waist and crisscross it in front (don’t knot it). Grasp and pull the ends up and outward as you contract your abdominal muscles, exhale, and raise your head.

RELATED ARTICLE: Top 5 nutrients

Include these in your daily diet:

Calcium: 1,000 mg WHERE TO GET IT: Dairy foods, dark leafy greens, calcium-fortified soy milk, calcium-fortified juices and cereals Folate (folic acid is the synthetic form, available in supplements): 600 mcg WHERETO GET IT: Dried beans, peas, lentils, orange juice, oranges, dark leafy greens, soy nuts, avocados, broccoli, asparagus Iron: 27mg WHERE TO GET IT: Liver, meat, seafood, prune juice, dry beans, wheat germ, oatmeal, tofu, soy nuts, grains

Protein: 70 g WHERE TO GET IT: Meat, poultry, seafood, dairy foods, beans and legumes, nuts Vitamin C: 85 mg WHERE TO GET IT: Citrus fruits and juices, straw- berries, bell peppers, tomatoes, dark leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts

To see a complete list of key pregnancy nutrients go to www.fitpregnancy.com and click on “Nutrients You Need.” For foods that contain these nutrients, see “Super Foods” on pg. 92.


Warning signs to stop exercising ant call your doctor:

* Calf pain or swelling

* Chest pain

* Decreased fetal movement

* Vaginal bleeding

* Difficult or labored breathing prior to exertion

* Dizziness

* Headache

* Leakage of amniotic fluid

* Muscle weakness

* Preterm labor


Aerobic exercise is not safe if you have any of the following medical conditions:

* Significant heart or lung disease

* An incompetent cervix or cerclage

* You are carrying multiples and are at risk for premature labor

* Persistent second- or third-trimester bleeding

* Placenta previa past 26 weeks of pregnancy

* Premature labor during your current pregnancy

* Ruptured membranes

* Preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension)

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