Can Exercise Cause Miscarriage?

Dr. Karen Nordahl, MD, discusses Can Exercise Cause Miscarriage?.

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Dr. Karen Nordahl, MD, discusses Can Exercise Cause Miscarriage?.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Karen Nordahl, MD
Can Exercise Cause Miscarriage?
Duration: 1 minute, 36 seconds

One of the biggest misconceptions is if you exercise in your first trimester you're going to miscarry.

That has not been found to be proven at all in any of the data. If you have a completely normal and you're otherwise healthy. So if you want to initiate an exercise program during your pregnancy, again do some of the simpler things. A walking program, cycling, swimming, and if you are already involved in certain exercises like tennis, or you go to the gym, you can continue to do that.

The one thing that does tend to prevent a woman exercising during her first trimester is she feels nauseated, so if you don't want to initiate your program then or can't quite do the exercises that you were doing prior to that, that's okay. Give yourself a break and wait until you feel better.

Whether you are an exercise expert or not, you have to throw the heart rate monitor away in pregnancy. We do not use heart rate at all as a measurement of exercise intensity during pregnancy, so what we use across the world is something called the Talk Test.

So what that means is you have to be able to say two sentences without getting short of breath during the most intense part of your exercise program. If you are singing, you are not working hard enough, and if you're short of breath, you're going a little bit too hard.

It's really important to remember that exercise, even in the first trimester, is safe, whether you've exercised prior to getting pregnant or not. If you have any questions about whether or not you should start an exercise program please talk to your healthcare provider.

Presenter: Dr. Karen Nordahl, Family Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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