Dr Tan Wei Ching​, Senior Consultant at ​the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Singapore General Ho​spital​ (SGH), a member of the SingHealth​​ group, shares safe pregnancy exercises for every trimester.

Pregnancy exercises by trimester

1st trimester (weeks 1-12)

Almost any form of exercise except contact sports and skiing can be undertaken safely.

2nd trimester (weeks 13-27)

In this trimester, you may feel at your most energetic, but you should take the intensity of your activities down a notch as the pregnancy progresses.

  • Avoid doing any exercises on your back, particularly after 16 weeks, as the belly presses on major blood vessels; you can feel faint and have decreased blood flow to the womb.
  • Sit down to lift weights because long periods of standing in one position can lead to a drop in blood pressure and cause dizziness.
  • Overheating can be a problem so wear cool clothing and drink plenty of water.
  • If you’re doing antenatal yoga, do not try new, advanced postures. Focus instead on improving your technique. For standing postures, use support such as a wall or chair, if needed.

3rd trimester (weeks 28-42)

Running and cycling tend to become uncomfortable and some women may switch from these sports to swimming, walking and water aerobics.

In the final three months, the feeling of weightlessness in the water will be very comfortable and it is safe to continue swimming throughout the pregnancy.

Other exercises have an increased risk of injury due to the loosening of ligaments and joints in pregnancy. It is also crucial to avoid ballistic movements such as jumping or running.

See previous p​age to learn about safe exerci​​ses for pregnant women​.​

Ref: U11