Benefits of keeping active in pregnancy

There is growing recognition that remaining active while pregnant can result in a range of general health benefits, from better circulation to improved mood and higher energy levels. Regular physical activity can also help maintain stronger bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, making women stronger and more flexible and thus better prepared for the physical demands of birth and parenthood.

Pregnant women may also enjoy specific benefit of an active pregnancy, for example activity may help with minor problems such as back pain and contipation as well as more serious health issues such as high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia. An active pregnancy may also help a woman return to her pre-pregnancy weight more quickly after the birth of her baby.

In addition to the health benefits for women ther are longer term benefits for children and families of keeping active throughout pregnancy. Physical activity can be increased and incorporated into a family's lifestyle from very early on, so that it becomes a regular habit.

For detailed inforamtion on types of activity and levels of activity women can be directed to NHS Health Scotland's website Ready Steady Baby! and the leaflet Keeping Active During and After Pregnancy.

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