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Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period*

Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology: June 2003 - Volume 46 - Issue 2 - p 496–499

The physiologic and morphologic changes of pregnancy may interfere with the ability to engage safely in some forms of physical activity. A woman's overall health, including obstetric and medical risks, should be evaluated before prescribing an exercise program. Generally, participation in a wide range of recreational activities appears to be safe during pregnancy; however, each sport should be reviewed individually for its potential risk, and activities with a high risk of falling or those with a high risk of abdominal trauma should be avoided during pregnancy. Scuba diving also should be avoided throughout pregnancy because the fetus is at an increased risk for decompression sickness during this activity. In the absence of either medical or obstetric complications, 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day on most, if not all, days of the week is recommended for pregnant women.

* Reprinted from American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period. (Committee Opinion No. 267). Washington, DC, @ ACOG, January 2002, with permission.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.