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Nervous about working out during pregnancy? Common myths debunked

If you’re like me or most women I’ve worked with, as soon as you get those 2 pink lines or see the word PREGNANT flash before your eyes, one of the first thoughts you have is “okay, what do I need to start doing differently?!”

Many people are aware of what foods to avoid (think: raw sushi, cold deli meats, and unpasteurized dairy products) but there’s really not a lot of guidance out there when it comes to what you need to change about your workout routine! And doing something to hurt themselves or their baby is a big fear many people have!

So what is safe and what isn’t?!

Well lucky for you, after going through pregnancy with my son and having all these same questions (and getting no solid answers, I might add) I decided to take matters into my own hands and become a pre/postnatal fitness specialist. And I’m here now to break it all down for you so that you feel confident and strong throughout your pregnancy!

If we are meeting for the first time - Hi! Welcome to Vibrant Mama Wellness! My name is Megan, and I am a pre and postnatal personal trainer. I am certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, with a specialization in pre+postnatal fitness through Pronatal fitness. I am a mom to a toddler, and pregnant with my second baby!

(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. This blog post is based on my own research and experience - please consult a medical professional before starting or making any changes to your exercise program).

If you haven’t already, be sure to download my Prenatal Workout and Nutrition Cheat Sheet where I debunk the top 3 myths when it comes to working out during pregnancy (spoiler: we cover heart rate limits, weight lifting limits, and ab exercises). Also included in this cheat sheet is nutrition guidance from pre/postnatal nutrition Caitlin Cipriano!

In this post, I’m going to talk about some other common concerns people have and why we don’t need to panic!

Will working out in the first trimester increase my risk of miscarriage?

This is a question I hear a lot and something I understand firsthand. My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage and I often wondered if I pushed myself too hard in my workouts or if there was anything I could’ve done differently in order to have a different outcome. And when I became pregnant with my son, I was VERY cautious during the first trimester out of fear of it happening again.

First of all, I want to let you know that those feelings are completely valid. But the good news is that there is no research directly linking exercise to miscarriage. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG), “physical activity does not increase your risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, or early delivery.” So rest assured knowing that your baby is protected in your uterus and you can’t jostle them out. That being said, always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine during pregnancy.

What exercises should you avoid completely?

Most exercises are safe for pregnancy, but modifications need to be made to ensure that there is no injury to the mother. This will vary on a person-to-person and pregnancy-to-pregnancy basis. This is why I recommend following a workout program specifically designed for pregnancy by a certified personal trainer who specializes in pre/postnatal fitness (be wary of trainers that have been pregnant themselves but have no formal training in pre/postnatal). If you’re looking for a safe and effective program with follow-along workouts, check out my Vibrantly You Pregnancy Program!

According to ACOG, activities that should definitely be avoided are:

  • Heated classes (like hot yoga)

  • Contact sports that put you at risk for being hit in the abdomen

  • Skydiving

  • Activities that can result in falling (downhill skiing, surfing, off-road cycling, horseback riding, and gymnastics)

  • Scuba diving

  • Activities performed at a high altitude

How do I know if I’m overdoing it in my pregnancy workouts?

There are a lot of outdated recommendations such as keeping your heart rate under 140 beats per minute (bpm) or lifting over 25lbs, and these simply are not true (download my FREE Prenatal Workout and Nutrition Cheat Sheet to learn more about these myths!)

The best way to know if you’re overdoing it is how your body FEELS. You want to be able to maintain a conversation with someone, not be completely out of breath while workout, or experience any pain. I wrote another in-depth blog post on this exact topic so be sure to read that here to learn more!!

I hope this post helped put your mind at ease when it comes to working out during pregnancy. It’s totally normal to be a little hesitant, but there are SO many amazing reasons why working out during pregnancy is beneficial for both you and your baby! If you have additional questions I didn’t get to here, shoot me a DM on Instagram and I’d be happy to chat with you! You can also check out my Vibrantly You Pregnancy Program for full-length follow along workouts that are safe for all trimesters.

Like this post and want more?

Join my free community on Facebook:

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Check out my pregnancy and postpartum workout programs:

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Disclaimer: This blog does not serve as medical advice. Please consult your medical provider before starting a new fitness routine. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.

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