SAFE EXERCISE DURING MULTIPLES
You have been told that you are expecting multiples and that you will need to gain more weight,
eat more calories, and possibly expect greater pregnancy symptoms. So, how does this affect your exercise routine?
It means that you need to be educated on what is best for both you and your babies.
Is exercise safe?
The answer to this question can be extremely confusing. The recommendation for a single
pregnancy is 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day. However, the American College of Obstetricians and
Gynecologists (ACOG) suggest that women carrying multiples refrain from aerobic exercise because of high risks for
potential problems. It is best to discuss your desire to stay physically active with your health care provider. If
you were physically active before you were pregnant, you will most likely be encouraged to remain active for as
long as your health care provider feels it is safe.
What exercises can I do?
Once you have received permission from your health care provider you may begin an exercise
routine. If you walked daily before your pregnancy there is a good chance that you will be able to continue this
for the first half of your pregnancy. Non-weight bearing exercises are often encouraged because they are tolerated
better. Other exercises that are considered safe include the stationary bike, arm exercises, and swimming. Many
women find the buoyancy of the swimming pool comforting and enjoyable. Pregnancy yoga and Kegel exercises are also
What exercises should I avoid?
You should refrain from doing any exercises that require you to lie flat on your back. Weight
training and resistance exercises should also be avoided. You should also refrain from doing any type of exercise
if you are running a fever or if it is hot and humid outside. Hot tubs and saunas should be avoided as well.
What are the warning signs that I need to stop
Feel like you are having contractions
Feel pelvic pressure
Experience vaginal bleeding or discharge
Swelling, especially in your feet
Make sure that you are communicating with your health care provider about your exercise routine
throughout your pregnancy.
When should I cut back on exercise?
As long as you are feeling healthy and not experiencing any complications, most women who have
exercised regularly throughout pregnancy can continue to as long as they feel comfortable. Some healthcare
providers encourage women to cut back on exercise at 20 weeks (singleton pregnancies cut back at 28 weeks).
Obviously if you are experiencing complications that require partial or total bed rest, this would occur even
sooner. The best thing to do is to discuss your exercise options and desires with your prenatal care provider.