Conditions that make exercise dangerous during pregnancy

If you have any of the conditions below, do not exercise. Check with your health care provider.

  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Incompetent cervix: The cervix is the narrow, outer end of the uterus. If it is weak, it cannot hold the fetus in the uterus.
  • Preterm labor (before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy)
  • Multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets or more) at risk for preterm labor
  • Frequent bleeding from the vagina during months 4-9 of pregnancy
  • Placenta previa: The placenta connects the baby's blood supply to the mother's blood. Attached to the mother's uterus, it is an unborn baby's lifeline. Placenta previa is a low-lying placenta that covers part or all of the cervix. This can block the baby's exit from the uterus.
  • Hypertension

Most common questions

Are there any exercises I should not do during pregnancy?

Yes. Don't do exercises, like riding a bike, that could make you lose your balance. You don't want to fall and hurt yourself or your baby. Don't do activities that have potential for serious injury. These include horseback riding, scuba diving, downhill skiing or a sport in which you could get hit in the stomach. Stay out of saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms, and don't do things that could make you overheated. After your first trimester, keep from doing activities that make you lie flat on your back.

Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?

For most women, yes. Unless your health care provider advises you otherwise, sex during pregnancy is safe for you and your baby. Some circumstances make sex during pregnancy unsafe. Pregnant women who have any of these health complications should talk to their provider before having sex:

Usually, a woman can continue sexual activity during pregnancy as long as she feels comfortable. Talk to your health care provider about any specific questions.

©2013 March of Dimes Foundation. The March of Dimes is a non-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).