pregnant woman not wanting to do exercise looking tired, feeling sick and with backache

A Guide to Overcoming Exercise Challenges During Pregnancy and Post-Natal Period

post natal exercise pregnancy exercise Feb 15, 2024


Embarking on the journey of motherhood brings about numerous changes, both physically and emotionally. For many women, finding the time and motivation to exercise during pregnancy and the post-natal period can be a daunting task, with various barriers standing in the way. In this blog post, we will explore the common hurdles faced during the pregnancy and post-natal stages, and provide practical solutions to overcome these obstacles.


Barriers to Exercise during Pregnancy:


1. Morning Sickness and Fatigue:

Challenge: The first trimester, in particular, is often marked by morning sickness and fatigue, making it challenging to summon the energy for physical activity.

Solution: Listen to your body and choose exercise times that align with when you feel your best. Gentle activities like prenatal yoga or walking can be more manageable during this time. If you can’t face any “exercise” while you are feeling nauseous then that’s ok, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Stay hydrated and fuel your body with nutritious snacks to combat fatigue.


2. Comfort Concerns:

Challenge: Many expectant mothers face discomfort due to changes in their bodies. Ill-fitting clothing and a feeling of self-consciousness can hinder the desire to exercise.

Solution: Invest in maternity activewear designed to accommodate your growing belly and provide support. Choose breathable fabrics to stay comfortable during workouts. Embrace your changing body and focus on the incredible journey you are on. We have a blog post with all our favourite maternity leggings in there for you. But don't feel that specific maternity wear is an essential. If yoga and mobility exercises are more your thing in pregnancy, they can be done in comfy pyjamas too. 



3. Balance and Joint Discomfort:

Challenge: Changes in the centre of gravity and hormonal shifts can affect balance and lead to sore joints.

Solution: Opt for low-impact exercises like swimming or stationary cycling to reduce stress on joints. Engage in exercises that enhance balance, such as prenatal yoga. Always prioritize movements that feel comfortable and safe for your changing body.


Post-Natal Barriers to Exercise:


1. Time Constraints:

Challenge: The post-natal period is often chaotic, with the demands of a newborn leaving little time for self-care.

Solution: Break down exercise into shorter, more manageable sessions. Aim for 10-15 minute intervals throughout the day. Involve your baby in activities like stroller walks or incorporate quick, effective home workouts. Prioritise self-care, as a healthy and energized mother benefits both you and your baby.



2. Baby Care Dilemmas:

Challenge: The constant care and attention required by a newborn can make it challenging to find time for personal workouts.

Solution: Combine baby care with exercise by participating in Mum and baby fitness classes or using a buggy for outdoor walks. Make sure your baby is well fed, not due a nap and has a clean nappy on to give yourself the best possible chance of it working, then surround them with toys or things to keep them entertained. Don’t forget, they will hopefully be entertained watching you move about too. 


3. Comfort and Fatigue:

Challenge: Post-natal bodies don’t immediately return to pre-pregnancy states, leading to discomfort and fatigue, especially after a c section or if breastfeeding. 

Solution: Choose activewear that provides gentle support for your post-natal body. Focus on exercises that aid in regaining strength and flexibility without putting undue stress on your body. Listen to your body's signals and prioritise rest when needed.



Breaking down the barriers to exercise during pregnancy and the post-natal period requires a combination of adaptability and self-compassion. By addressing comfort concerns, acknowledging time constraints, and incorporating your baby into your fitness routine, you can create a sustainable and enjoyable exercise regimen. Remember, the journey to a healthier you is not a sprint but a gradual and rewarding marathon. Embrace the changes, celebrate the victories, and prioritise your well-being as you navigate the beautiful challenges of motherhood.



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