Find out what activities it's best to steer clear of during pregnancy.
While you're pregnant it's not necessary to give up all your favourite activities - but there are some things you should avoid for the safety of you and your growing baby.
If you have any concerns about the safety of a particular activity while pregnant, make sure to talk to your doctor or midwife who will be able to advise you. They will also be able to help you plan a safe exercise routine if you want to keep fit during pregnancy.
Sports and exercise
Leisure and holidays
- A good rule of thumb to bear in mind is that if you didn't exercise much before you were pregnant, it's probably not a good idea to launch into a full-on routine now.
- Avoid exercising when it is hot or humid, and only perform light exercise.
- Avoid any activity that puts you at risk of falling. This includes things like horse-riding, surfing, water-skiiing, gymnastics and aerobics, so you'll have to wait until after baby arrives to ski France or ski Austria.
- Activities where you might fall also include tennis, badminton, and other lighter sports. Although you might feel fine doing them earlier on in your pregnancy, as your body changes your centre of gravity will change - and in turn your sense of balance will be affected.
- If you want to go jogging make sure it is only light jogging, as otherwise you may be putting too much pressure on your joints and your back.
- Avoid all contact sports, as there is a risk that there could be a blow to your abdomen. Unfortunately for sports fans, this means activities like football and hockey are off the menu for the time being.
- Exercising at high altitude is not recommended as there will be less oxygen for you to breathe. So climbing, mountaineering, or hot-air ballooning are probably best left alone for now.
- When doing stretches, try not to over-stretch, as you are more likely to pull a muscle when pregnant.
- Also, avoid exercise where you have to lie flat on your back with your legs raised, as the weight of your uterus may cause undue strain on your blood vessels. This could include certain yoga positions, or sit-ups.
- Visiting a waterpark or theme park is not advisable unless you are only watching from the sidelines.
Experiencing sudden acceleration or a sudden landing could be harmful to your baby, and may even bring on pre-term labour. Many signs at theme parks will advise pregnant women not to go on the rides.
- Some studies show that an increase in your body temperature can cause harm to your baby. So don't worry too much about a warm soak in the tub, but a bath that is too hot is not a good idea. Equally Jacuzzis, hot tubs and saunas should be avoided.
- You may also want to avoid wearing high heels, especially towards your 3rd trimester. This is because your sense of balance will be impaired by your new centre of gravity, and you might find your new weight makes restrictive shoes extremely uncomfortable.
- It's generally safe to fly by plane during pregnancy, but during your 3rd trimester you might experience more discomfort and there might be more airline restrictions on you flying. This is not so much because of your safety but more because airlines worry that you may go into labour during the flight, and they won't have the facilities to cope with this.
- Avoid taking aspirin - a one-off dose is okay, but if you start taking it regularly throughout your pregnancy, studies have shown that there could be pregnancy complications.
- Certain kinds of medicines should be avoided in pregnancy, so always check the label to be sure.
- Avoid wearing under-wired bras, as they could restrict the sudden changes to the shape of your breasts - plus you may find that they are too uncomfortable for you to wear.
- You should also avoid smoking during pregnancy and be careful about the amount of coffee you drink, as studies have shown these both can be harmful to your baby.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of all the activities you should avoid during pregnancy, but can provide you with a starting point. Always check with a doctor if you aren't sure about the safety of any activity while you're pregnant.