Physical Activity Recommendations for Pregnant and Postpartum Women

Moderate-intensity physical activity is safe for you during pregnancy if you are generally healthy. It can help reduce your risk of excessive weight gain and gestational diabetes and keep your heart and lungs healthy. During the postpartum period (first year after delivery), physical activity can decrease symptoms of postpartum depression. When combined with caloric restrictions, it can also help you with weight loss after delivery.

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Pregnant and Postpartum Women
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Physical Activity Recommendation

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Benefits

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Examples of Moderate-Intensity Physical Activity*

Get at least 150 minutes (for example, 30 minutes 5 days a week) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Remember, some physical activity is better than none, so do what you can.
  • Reduces the risk of excessive weight gain during pregnancy.
  • Reduces the risk of gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
  • Reduces symptoms of postpartum depression.
  • Brisk walking.
  • Some forms of yoga.
  • Water aerobics.
  • Bike riding.

*After the first trimester, try to avoid activities that require lying flat on your back.

Source: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americanspdf icon[PDF-14.4MB]external icon, 2nd edition (Chapter 6, page 79-80)

Note: If you are pregnant, you can consult your health care provider to see whether and how to adjust your physical activity during pregnancy, and after the baby is born. Learn more about staying healthyexternal icon while pregnant.