Exercise and Pregnancy LabWestern Health Sciences

Resources and Guidelines

Baby shoes

The resources and guidelines listed below are intended to assist expectant mothers to achieve healthy pregnancies. Current research says that healthy pregnant women (no obstretrical or medical problems) can safely participate in moderate aerobic activity and muscular conditioning programs. It is important to consult your physician or midwife before starting or changing an exercise program.

There are two main types of exercise:

Aerobic Exercise

  • Important in the lives of many pregnant women
  • Means raising the heart rate by moving large muscle groups

Muscular Conditioning

  • Strengthening exercises are also important to many pregnant women
  • Muscular conditioning exercises help increase or maintain muscle strength and endurance in specific muscles


Exercise During Pregnancy: What are the guidelines?

PARmed-X for Pregnancy

PARmed-X for Pregnancy is a guideline for medical prescreening for use by physicians and midwives to evaluate pregnant patients who want to participate in a prenatal fitness class, and for ongoing monitoring of exercising patients. Learn More.

Health Canada Guidelines for Prenatal Nutrition

A woman's nutritional and overall health, before and during pregnancy, influences the health of her developing baby. Eating well, combined with taking a daily multivitamin, can give a woman the nutrients she needs to feel good, have energy, and support a healthy pregnancy.

Learn more from Health Canada.

Middlesex-London Health Unit

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) offers prenatal health education and physical activity programs to support new and expecting mothers in making the best decision for their own health and that of their babies.

Learn more about the prenatal health education courses and physical activity information offered by the MLHU.

A DVD is available from MLHU that answers many of the questions women have about the safe and healthy way to be active during pregnancy. Download the ORDER FORM here.

PARC: Active Pregnancy Resource

PARC's Active Pregnancy Resource encourages physical activity during pregnancy and provides guidelines to ensure pregnant women are exercising safely. Learn More.

Nutrition and Exercise Lifestyle Intervention Program (NELIP)

The Nutrition and Exercise Lifestyle Intervention Program (NELIP) was a London-Ontario-based study that provided a combined nutrition and exercise program to overweight and obese pregnant women beginning in the 16th to 20th week of pregnancy. Learn More.