To stay healthy and well, pregnant women should take regular exercise. As well as being good for your heart, breathing and muscle tone, exercise helps reduce stress levels, improve sleep and helps prevent you from getting pain around the pelvis and low back areas. Exercise can also help you manage your blood sugars, gestational diabetes and help you from putting on too much weight.
Exercising regularly, will help you get ready for labour and after your baby’s birth, will help you get back into shape.
If you are healthy and well, and have no problems with your health before or during your pregnancy, you should do 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days a week. You can divide this up into two 15 minute sessions if it is easier for you.
If you have medical or pregnancy problems, or are worried about your health, you should talk to your doctor, midwife or physiotherapist before exercising.
Pelvic girdle pain describes pain in any of the three pelvic joints. It is common but not normal and can affect 1 in 5 women during pregnancy. There are many causes which include:
Pain can vary from mild to severe. It may affect the symphysis pubis joint at the front of your pelvis, the groin, inner thighs or the sacroiliac joints at the back. Pain may be referred into your buttocks, hips or perineum.
You may experience:
With pelvic girdle pain the degree of discomfort you are feeling may vary from being intermittent and irritating to being very wearing and upsetting.
To begin with, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip width apart.
Quickly squeeze and hold your pelvic floor muscles BEFORE coughing, sneezing, laughing and when lifting your baby. This will give you more control of your bladder and will help to keep your muscles strong. To be effective you need to do your pelvic floor muscle training 3 times a day.
Knowing how to do your pelvic floor muscle exercises is really important and can help you prevent or stop urine from leaking.
The physiotherapists in the Rotunda Hospital have made five videos on learning about pelvic floor muscles, doing your pelvic floor muscle exercises, leaking urine and doing exercises after you have your baby.
We made the videos so that all women can receive reliable, trustworthy, free information and to let women know that::
Leaking urine or wetting yourself when you do not mean to (also known as urinary incontinence), can be treated with pelvic floor muscle exercises (PFME). PFME help reduce symptoms of urinary leakage; in some cases leading to temporary or even permanent relief.
We know from research done at the Rotunda Hospital as part of the MAMMI study, that:
We also know from looking at our antenatal class attendance records that only half of first time mothers and fewer than one in twenty women having their second or subsequent baby received PFME education, taught during the antenatal classes in the Rotunda Hospital.
Each video is just 3-6 minutes long. Please click on the relevant video to watch:
Introduction to the videos from the Rotunda's physiotherapy manager, Cinny Cusack
Video 1: Getting to know your pelvic floor
Once you have watched the videos, we would love to hear what you thought of them, and in particular, if you found them a good way of providing information.
We would also like to know if you did pelvic floor muscle exercises in the past and if you have ever experienced leaking of urine. To give us your feedback, please click on this PFME Survey link to provide it.
The word ’yoga’ means ’union’ in Sanskrit, the classical Indian language. The practice of yoga is a coming together of the mind, body and spirit. Although
yoga in pregnancy follows the same principles as all yoga, it is quite different from regular yoga because it is designed with the specific needs of the
pregnant woman in mind. Because of this, yoga in pregnancy is always safe and gentle.
The benefits of yoga during pregnancy are:
The benefits of yoga can continue after the birth of your baby, when deep breathing is used to tone the pelvic floor into peak condition and keep your
energy levels balanced. Yoga can improve lactation (production of milk supply) and relaxed yoga mothers tend to have relaxed babies.
Yoga classes are held in the Rotunda. The content of the classes includes various breathing techniques, postures and movements followed by deep
relaxation. Yoga may help to make you feel calm and help you to deal with whatever challenges lie ahead. The breathing techniques and relaxation are
very beneficial for mothers coping with contractions during labour.
Most healthy women can join the yoga classes. Minor disorders of pregnancy generally do not pose a problem. No previous experience of yoga is necessary and you join the classes by phoning up yourself or by getting a letter from your doctor or midwife. The classes are provided by a midwife, are held in the evenings and last about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. The classes run for six weeks and there is an associated cost. Courses can be repeated.
To make an appointment phone 01 817 6883, between 8.30 am and 4.00 pm, Monday to Friday. If there is no reply, please leave a message with your name and phone number and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
FOI Publication Scheme
Maternal Fetal Medicine
Friends of Rotunda
Rotunda Private Clinics
Visitor & Contact Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Staying healthy during pregnancy
How your baby develops and your body responds
Care options for pregnant women
Prepare for your hospital stay