Exercises to avoid during pregnancy

Keep fit safely during your pregnancy

Exercise during pregnancy works wonders from bump to baby and beyond!

And it won’t hurt you or your baby, as long as you do it safely.


But there a few activities you really do need to avoid:

  • Contact sports – anything where there's a risk of falling heavily or being hit is a complete no-no, so anything like kickboxing, judo, squash or horse riding are out for a while.
  • Scuba diving – your baby has no protection against decompression sickness and gas embolism (gas bubbles in the bloodstream), so if the sea bed is your thing, best stick to snorkelling for now!
  • Heights - don't exercise at heights over 2,500m above sea level until you have acclimatised: this is because you and your baby are at risk of altitude sickness.
  • Lying flat on your back – this position can make you feel faint because the weight of your fast-growing bump presses on the main blood vessel pumping blood back to your heart, so make you avoid it, especially after the 16 weeks mark.

When to check first

Most mums-to-be will be perfectly safe exercising, but you do need to chat with your midwife first if you’ve ever had problems, like high blood pressure, previous premature birth or anaemia.

Exercises to avoid during pregnancy