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Pregnancy exercises - Safety checklist

Read below for a checklist guide on to how to exercise during pregnancy, including general advice on safety during exercise routines when you are pregnant.

Exercise in pregnancy is important, but whatever pregnancy exercises you choose, make sure you follow some basic rules.


  • Check with your doctor before you start exercise during pregnancy
  • Tell your instructor you’re pregnant if attending a class
  • Eat three to four hours before exercise and immediately after
  • Try to maintain good posture
  • Wear layered clothing to aid heat loss, a supportive bra and appropriate footwear
  • Drink plenty of water – approximately two and a half litres per day (this is particularly important in the first three months)
  • Listen to your body and don’t push yourself. During pregnancy, exercises will place a higher level of stress on your body so be careful.
  • Stop immediately if you begin to feel uncomfortable.

Don’t exercise:

  • To exhaustion
  • When it’s very hot or you’re feeling unwell
  • On your back after 16 weeks
  • If you have deep pelvic pain or spotting of blood
  • If you’re getting lots of Braxton Hicks contractions.

Always check with your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns.


Further information

NCT's helpline offers practical and emotional support in all areas of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood: 0300 330 0700. We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.

You might also like to try one of our 'Relax, stretch and breathe' or 'Yoga for pregnancy' classes in your area.

The NHS has a site on pregnancy and exercise including tips and suggested excercises.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have guidelines on recreational excercise and pregnancy.