Exercise during first trimester tends to be challenging. The volume of blood pumped out by the heart each minute increases by 5-6 weeks gestation and blood pressure is decreased. All of these changes, while unnoticeable on the outside can create feelings of dizziness, rapid heart rate and the feeling of not being able to take a deep breath.
If you workout regularly these symptoms might be what triggers you to take a pregnancy test.
Exercise during early pregnancy is completely safe. But you will want to follow all the do’s and don’ts listed below. If you are concerned about the 2 week wait (2ww) or waiting on a beta test, we have a lot or pre-pregnancy and infertility advice on exercising during the two week wait and early pregnancy.
Ultimately, the most common concern amongst pregnant women is whether exercising will induce a miscarriage. Exercise actually soothes many of the aches and annoyances of the first trimester, and continuing to exercise throughout the pregnancy can only add benefits to the mother and her baby.
The age-old question of how to properly exercise during pregnancy is one that new moms-to-be, as well as more seasoned moms, often ask their doctors, friends and fitness professionals. And, rightfully so – the research and recommendations on safe practices to use during pregnancy often changes. One generation ago, women were told not to exercise during pregnancy at all!
Although these workouts are pregnancy approved, you still need your doctor’s permission before starting or continuing any exercise program. Before you move forward with exercise, we need to discuss some of the basics of exercising during pregnancy. If pregnancy hasn’t taught your already, overall, your body is incredibly smart! As it grows a tiny human being, it adjusts your blood pressure, expands your rib cage, and increases your blood volume, among many other amazing things…all without you telling it to do so. So, listen to your body! It will tell you what’s too much and when you should take it easy. But, keep in mind, these adaptations are unique for every pregnant woman and not every woman will respond to exercise during pregnancy in the same way.
According to ACOG, women with uncomplicated pregnancies should be encouraged to engage in aerobic and strength-conditioning exercises before, during and after pregnancy (ACOG CO650, Dec 2015). Exercising in a cool environment is key, especially in the 1st trimester. Make sure you read all of the pregnancy exercise do’s and don’ts during your first trimester or download our comprehensive Prenatal & Postnatal Starter Pack.
 Clapp, J.F., 3rd, and Catherine Cram. Exercising through Your Pregnancy, Second Edition, 2012. Omaha, NE: Addicus Books, Inc.