Benefits of keeping active

Being active during pregnancy brings benefits for you and your baby.

Let’s explore some of the benefits of being active - which ones do you recognise and which are new to you?

Keeping active in pregnancy can help you:

  • Manage your weight
  • Sleep better
  • Feel less tired and have more energy
  • Improve your mood by releasing endorphins

Endorphins act on the receptors in our brains - they reduce pain and boost pleasure, resulting in a feeling of well-being. Endorphins are released during activities such as exercise or sex

  • Avoid being constipated
  • Reduce back ache and leg cramps
  • Lower the risk of some complications in pregnancy (like gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia)
  • Lessen the chance of developing varicose veins and swollen feet

There is also some evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour.

There are also some real benefits for your baby, even though they’re not the ones doing the exercise:

  • A healthy rate of weight gain during pregnancy means your baby is more likely to be born at a healthy weight and reduces the likelihood of them being overweight in childhood
  • If you are able to birth your baby without complications, this will reduce the health risks for the baby