Exercising during pregnancy has many benefits and is safe for you and your baby. You can take a look at our general advice around exercising during pregnancy here.
Here are some easy exercises you should try that will help to keep your body healthy, strengthen your muscles and prepare you for pregnancy and labour:
Pelvic floor exercises
All women should do pelvic floor exercises to promote good pelvic floor health, however if you are pregnant and after pregnancy, strengthening the muscles in your pelvic floor is important because these muscles come under a lot of strain during pregnancy and childbirth.
If your pelvic floor muscles are weak, you may be more likely to leak urine when you cough, sneeze or strain. This is a common problem known as stress incontinence.
Pelvic floor exercises are recommended as soon as you find out that you’re pregnant, even if you’re young or do not currently suffer from stress incontinence.
This video was not produced by Health for Under 5’s and may contain adverts.
The following exercises may help to ease backache during pregnancy by strengthening the abdominal muscles:
Pelvic tilt exercises
- stand with your shoulders and bottom against a wall
- keep your knees soft
- pull your tummy button towards your spine, so that your back flattens against the wall: hold for 4 seconds then release
- repeat up to 10 times
Stomach strengthening exercises
- start in a box position (on all 4s) with knees under hips, hands under shoulders, with fingers facing forward and abdominals lifted to keep your back straight
- pull in your stomach muscles and raise your back up towards the ceiling, curling your trunk and allowing your head to relax gently forward. Do not let your elbows lock
- hold for a few seconds then slowly return to the box position
- take care not to hollow your back: it should always return to a straight/neutral position
- do this slowly and rhythmically 10 times, making your muscles work hard and moving your back carefully
- only move your back as far as you can comfortably