2019 Guidelines for Physical Activity in Pregnancy - Flow Physio Co Sutherland - Women's Health Physio

Guidelines for Physical Activity in Pregnancy

2019 Canadian Consensus Statement

The 2019 Canadian Guideline for Physical Activity in Pregnancy  provide guidance for pregnant women, obstetric care and exercise professionals on prenatal exercise.

The guidelines provide evidence based recommendations regarding physical activity throughout pregnancy in the promotion of maternal, foetal and neonatal health. 

The Benefits of Being Active through Pregnancy

In the absence of contraindication, following these guidelines is associated with fewer newborn complications and maternal health benefits such as:

  • Decreased risk of gestational diabetes and preecplamsia

  • Less risk of Instrumented-assisted delivery; and

  • Decreased risk urinary incontinence post birth

What is Recommended?

The guidelines make 4 strong recommendations and 2 weak recommendations:

  1. All women without contraindications should be physically active throughout pregnancy (Strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence)

  2. Pregnant women should accumulate at least 150 of moderately intense physical activity each week to achieve clinically meaningful health benefits and reduction in pregnancy complications (Strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence)

  3. Physical activity should be accumulated over a minimum of 3 days per week, however being active everyday is encouraged (Strong recommendation, moderate-quality evidence)

  4. Pregnant women should incorporate a variety of aerobic and resistance training activities to achieve greater benefits (Strong recommendation, high-quality evidence)

  5. Pelvic floor muscle training may be performed on a daily basis to reduce the risk of urinary incontinence - instruction on proper technique is recommended (Weak recommendation, low-quality evidence)

  6. Pregnant women who experience light-headedness, nausea or feel unwell when they exercise flat on their back should modify their exercise position to avoid the supine position (Weak recommendation, very-low quality evidence)

Enhancing maternal health and reducing pregnancy complications

In conclusion prenatal exercise should be therefore considered the front line therapy for reducing the risk of pregnancy complications and enhancing maternal physical and mental health. 

What should you do?

You should check with your obstetric care provider or Women’s Health Physio to make sure you don’t have any contraindications to exercise and enjoy the wonderful benefits of being active through pregnancy.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse - Women’s Health Physio


Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Did you know? 

One in two women who have had a baby will experience prolapse at some stage in their life, that’s why it is so important to have an understanding of what it is and the symptoms experienced with prolapse.


What is pelvic organ prolapse? 

Pelvic organ prolapse is when one or more of the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus and bowel) slip down into the vagina causing a bulge or a heavy dragging feeling. Prolapse happens due to damage of the support structures of the pelvic floor including muscles, fascia or ligaments.



What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of prolapse include:

  • Sensation or heaviness/dragging/buldge in the vagina

  • Incomplete emptying of your bladder/bowels

  • Discomfort in the lower abdomen

  • Recurrent urinary tract infections

  • Sexual discomfort

  • Incontinence


Prevention and management strategies

The good news is there is lots that can be done to prevent or manage prolapse. The pelvic floor acts as a sling supporting the pelvic organs, therefore pelvic floor strength training is one of the treatment options that can prevent or help alleviate symptoms of prolapse. 

The Pelvic Floor - Women's Health Physio Sutherland

How much do you know about your pelvic floor?

Recent studies have shown that 20% of women asked to contract their pelvic floor are actually contracting the wrong muscles.

Your Pelvic floor is a group of muscles and fascia which run from the front to the back of your pelvis. These muscles provide support to the bladder, uterus and bowel. 


These muscles need to be able to cope with the growing of your uterus (and baby) during pregnancy. They also need to be able to stretch significantly during labour to allow for the birth of your baby.

Postnatally, the pelvic floor muscles need to be strong enough to be able to return to normal function of supporting your organs in daily activities and with time, strong enough to return to more strenuous activities such has running.  

Need to talk to someone about your pelvic floor?