Should I consult a doctor before working out if I'm pregnant?

Joanne Duncan-Carnesciali, CPT,NASM Elite Trainer
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
It would be necessary to go see your doctor before you begin exercising, particularly if you haven't been exercising before you became pregnant.

The American College of Sports Medicine supports guidelines established by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Joint Committee of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology.

The position they collectively take is that healthy, pregnant women without exercise contraindications should exercise throughout their pregnancy.

It is common practice for fitness professionals who train the prenatal population to have them complete a PARmed-X for Pregnancy.  This form is a guideline for health screening prior to participation in a prenatal fitness class or other exercise.

Once the client fills out this form she should the give form to the healthcare provider monitoring her pregnancy.

The healthcare provider should check the information provided by the patient for accuracy and indicate on the form whether there are any contraindications to starting or continuing exercising.  Some contraindications are absolute, some are relative.  As this is the case it is imperative that the fitness professional have the necessary knowledge and skills in order prescribe exercise for the client to keep mother and baby safe.

Yes.  Your doctor knows best.  If you have been working out consistantly before being pregnant usually you can stay working out at that intensity until 14 weeks. Resting HR should not go higher then 140. If you have not been working out before pregnancy, please be careful and listen to your doctor. Also consult before, during and after pregnancy. Your health and the health of your child is to important not to consult with your doctor.

Yes, you absolutely should consult your doctor before beginning a fitness program during pregnancy. Once the doctor clears you, make sure you let him/her know exactly what you are doing to stay fit during your pregnancy. Keep a journal of what you are doing for resistance training, cardio and what you are eating. If you are working with a trainer make sure that trainer is keeping records of your activity during your sessions AND that they have experience and the appropriate education to work with pregant women. This way if your doctor requests information, or if there is a problem, your exercise information will be readily available.

Lori Zrebiec

Absolutely. As with any medical condition, it is best to check with your doctor before beginning any fitness routine. Exercise can be very beneficial during pregnancy; however in certain circumstances, it may be contraindicated. Your personal doctor will be able to provide you with the best advice for you and the status of your pregnancy.

Yes, most definitely consult your doctor and make sure that you are good to go and that your body is ready for it.
Each person is unique and your doctor is the only person that can safely give you the green light.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.