The exercise area must be well-lit and allow good air circulation. This will prevent over-heating.
Avoid exhaustion. A well-planned exercise program should allow her to finish short of this point
The exercise should allow her to carry on a conversation. If she cannot, it is a reliable sign that she is doing too much and it is time to slow down.
Short of proper exercise programs, what other activities can a pregnant woman engage in to try to got some of the benefits?
Swimming, cycling, walking and, jogging are excellent and considered safe to pursue during pregnancy. Golf, due to the walking involved, is also good.
Skiing (including water-skiing), contact sports such as basketball and hockey, and such activities as gymnastics, ice-skating and scuba-diving are considered unsafe. The risk increases as the pregnancy advances.
What about stretching?
Anybody who has attended an aerobics class will be aware of the stretching exercises used for the build-up and wind-down. These exercises are positively encouraged during pregnancy. Most antenatal classes will include these.
Suppose there is concern about the fetal growth. Should the pregnant woman carry on exercising?
The standard advice in such situations is to "take it easy". However, this is based on an unproven hypothesis. There is absolutely no evidence that exercise in moderation will have any deleterious effect on such a pregnancy.
What advantages does a woman who has been exercising regularly have over one who has not bothered, when it comes to labour?
There is no doubt that a woman who has been active goes into labour with more energy and better reserves to cope with labour.
Experiences of labour differ widely among individuals and whether they have exercised or not is only one factor among many that will influence this. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to quantify the benefits of this aspect.
What about exercise and the requirements for pain relief in labour?
There is no evidence that exercising during pregnancy will help reduce need for pain relief in labour.
Does exercise during- pregnancy reduce the possibility of ending up with a caesarean section?
No evidence to this effect exists.