Women's Health Texas – Austin


Talking to OBGYN Dr. Emily Biller about exercise during pregnancy

Exercise during pregnancy benefits both mother and baby. According to OBGYN Emily Biller, “Exercise can reduce bothersome symptoms of pregnancy, such as back pain and constipation. It may also decrease the chances of developing complications in pregnancy, including gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Exercise also helps ensure appropriate weight gain in pregnancy and overall fitness.”

Exercise during pregnancy is safe for almost every pregnant woman

Emily Biller MD says almost every woman can exercise safely. “If you are healthy, and your pregnancy is normal, exercise does not increase your risk of miscarriage, low birth weight or early delivery.”

Even with that in mind, our Austin OBGYN emphasizes that all patients should talk to their physicians before undertaking any exercise program. “There are certain complications in pregnancy that increase risk and make exercise unsafe.” Some of the conditions include heart and lung disease, placenta previa that remains present after 26 weeks of pregnancy, preeclampsia or severe anemia.

OBGYN Emily Biller discusses exercise basics during pregnancy

How much exercise should pregnant women get each week? Dr. Biller says, “Ideally, pregnant women should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. That’s 30 minutes a day for five days or 10-minute workouts broken up and done more frequently. It’s up to the patient.”

Moderate intensity exercise is activity that raises your heart rate while allowing you to talk normally. The perfect exercise during pregnancy is brisk walking. It doesn’t require any equipment and can be done almost anywhere. Our Austin OBGYN adds, “Other great moderate intensity exercise options are low-impact activities like swimming, stationary biking/elliptical or modified yoga or Pilates, but no hot yoga.”

Our Austin OBGYN recommends certain precautions while exercising

Patients should practice certain precautions to ensure that exercise during pregnancy is safe. Here are some guidelines.

  • Avoid exercise that uses high-impact motion like skiing or gymnastics.
  • Avoid activities that involve contact, the risk of falling or being hit in the abdomen.
  • Do not do exercise that involves heat like hot yoga or hot Pilates.
  • Do not participate in activities where you stand or lie on the back for extended periods.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water before, during and after exercise.
  • Wear a supportive sports pregnancy bra.
  • Consider wearing an abdominal binder for comfort.

If women notice any of the following symptoms, they should contact their physicians.

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Regular, painful contractions
  • Fluid leakage that may indicate a woman’s water has broken
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Increased shortness of breath
  • Chest or calf pain
  • Headache

Have questions about pregnancy? Contact us for an appointment with OBGYN Emily Biller.