Gillian O Sullivan has worked with dozens of pregnant women in Cork over the last few years. The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help you to cope with labour and get back into shape after the birth.

Ideally you should keep up your normal daily physical activity or exercise. Where you have not had a great fitness regime before your pregnancy, or where you have any physical challenges, having a personal trainer for this important time works well for a lot of women.

Exercise is not dangerous for your baby. There is some evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour.

Exercise tips for pregnancy

Do not exhaust yourself. You may need to slow down as your pregnancy progresses or if you are advised to.

As a general rule, you should be able to hold a conversation as you exercise when pregnant. If you become breathless as you talk, then you might want to dial it back, or ensure you’re supervised by Gillian O Sullivan or a fitness professional.

If you were not active before you got pregnant, do not suddenly take up strenuous exercise. Make sure you work with a professional like Gillian, and that you are closely monitored. For many women, becoming pregnant is a catalyst for positive change. There is great motivation and strength that comes with pregnancy and Gillian has seen many women transform their fitness regime.

Remember that exercise does not have to be strenuous to be beneficial.

Exercise tips when you’re pregnant:

Always warm up before exercising, and cool down afterwards
Try to keep active on a daily basis – 30 minutes of walking each day can be enough, but if you cannot manage that, any amount is better than nothing
Avoid any strenuous exercise in hot weather
Drink plenty of water and other fluids
If you go to exercise classes, make sure your teacher is properly qualified and knows that you’re pregnant, as well as how many weeks pregnant you are
Exercises that have a risk of falling, such as horse riding, downhill skiing, ice hockey, gymnastics and cycling, should only be done with caution. Falls carry risk for pregnancies.

Healthy lifestyle

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