Exercise during pregnancy: a critical appraisal of the literature

J Reprod Med. 2005 Mar;50(3):181-8.


To review the effects of exercise during pregnancy on fetal and maternal outcomes, a selective literature search was performed using MEDLINE, the Cochrane Database and bibliographies from relevant articles to identify additional references. The data on exercise during pregnancy are limited but suggest that moderate exercise during a low-risk pregnancy does not lead to adverse outcomes for the fetus or mother and improves overall maternal fitness and well-being. The data examining the impact of exercise on labor outcomes, maternal weight gain and fetal weight are conflicting. Moderate exercise in the low-risk pregnancy improves maternal well-being and does not seem to have adverse effects on the fetal or maternal outcome. However, further studies are needed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Weight
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fever
  • Health Status
  • Heart Rate, Fetal
  • Humans
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Pregnancy / physiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Risk Factors
  • Uterus / blood supply
  • Uterus / physiology
  • Weight Gain