Maintaining a physically active lifestyle is a great way for women to support a healthy pregnancy and for them to return to a normal healthy lifestyle after delivery. Being aware of general guidelines, contraindications and signs for discontinuing exercise are key aspects to creating a safe and effective exercise program for both the pre and postnatal client.

Here are general exercise guidelines that should be followed by pregnant clients:
-Do not begin a vigorous exercise program shortly before or during pregnancy.
-If you have been previously active, continue current program during the first trimester to a maximum of 30 to 40 minutes per day as tolerated.
-With no previous activity, begin slowly with 15 minutes of low-intensity exercise and gradually increase to 30 minutes.
-During the second and third trimester, the intensity and duration should be gradually reduced.
-Use the RPE scale rather than heart-rate monitoring.
-Avoid high-impact activities, contact sports, bouncing while stretching, activities with a high risk of falling, deep knee bends, full sit-ups, double leg raises and straight-leg toe touches.
-Avoid exercise in the supine position after the first trimester.
-Avoid long periods of standing.
-Avoid exercise in high temperatures and/or high humidity.
-Modify exercise intensity if post-exercise body temperature exceeds 100° F.
-Focus on hydration.
-Utilize extended warm-up and cool-down periods.
-Walking or running should occur on flat even surfaces.
-Wear a bra that fits well to support the breasts.
-Some pregnant women may benefit from a small snack prior to exercise to help avoid hypoglycemia.
As fitness professionals, you should also be aware of the following warning signs that warrant stopping an exercise session and referring the pregnant client to a doctor before exercise is resumed:
-Vaginal bleeding
-Dizziness or feeling faint
-Shortness of breath
-Chest pain
-Muscle weakness
-Calf pain or swelling
-Uterine contractions
-Decreased fetal movement
-Amniotic fluid leakage


Take extra precaution toward the end of the 2nd trimester. This is a general rule due to the possibility of cutting off circulation of the vena cava, an artery that runs to the woman’s heart, due to the weight of the uterus. There will be symptoms like feeling short of breath and dizziness. Every woman is different. Some women are fine on their backs well into the 3rd trimester; others become uncomfortable much earlier.



A diastasis recti  is commonly thought to be a two finger or more width separation of the rectus muscle bellies from the midline. The abdominal wall stretches, and so the connective tissue can widen leaving the recti bellies with a gap between them. This is one reason why your postpartum clients may still look 4 months pregnant when their baby is a year old.

Just like prenatal training, correcting alignment and developing posterior chain strength are going to be the main ingredients of your workouts.
Get the pelvis in a neutral position, the upper body less kyphotic, and build strong glutes. In your first few training phases, you likely won’t need to program in metabolic activity to get a training effect.
Not only unnecessary, but uncomfortable due to breasts that are doubled in size and unsafe with relaxin still providing loose ligaments and tendons.

These will begin reprogramming the pelvic floor and transverse abdominis in order to gain tension in the linea alba and help close the DR.

Low level dead bug exercises, side planks, and carry exercises will be their new best friend in order for the client to train their alignment and recruit their deep core muscles.


Abdominal exercises you  should avoid:

In the case of DR, you need to steer clear of exercises on all fours, front loaded planks, and any supine crunching or flexion movements. They are only going to put more pressure on that weakened connective tissue and exacerbate the separation.
Be cautious of rotation exercises and any loaded exercise where the core has to stabilize a ton. When your client is going from supine to seated or standing, get them into the habit of rolling to their side before coming up instead of jackknifing up and bulging the belly. And, be sure your clients know that front loading baby carriers need to go until that DR is closed as to avoid increased pressure on the abdomen.




If you have placenta previa, it means that your placenta is lying unusually low in your uterus, next to or covering your cervix. The placenta is the pancake-shaped organ – normally located near the top of the uterus – that supplies your baby with nutrients through the umbilical cord.


An incompetent cervix, also called a cervical insufficiency, is a condition that occurs when weak cervical tissue causes or contributes to premature birth or the loss of an otherwise healthy pregnancy. … If you have an incompetent cervix, your cervix might begin to open too soon — causing you to give birth too early.

Treatment for cervical incompetence is a surgical procedure called cervical cerclage, in which the cervix is sewn closed during pregnancy.  The cervix is the lowest part of the uterus and extends into the vagina.

Rupture of membranes (ROM) or amniorrhexis is a term used during pregnancy to describe a rupture of the amniotic sac. Normally, it occurs spontaneously at full term either during or at the beginning of labor. Rupture of the membranes is known colloquially as “breaking the water” or as one’s “water breaking”

Formerly called toxemia, preeclampsia is a condition that pregnant women develop. It is marked by high blood pressure in women who have previously not experienced high blood pressure before. Preeclamptic women will have a high level of protein in their urine and often also have swelling in the feet, legs, and hands.