Pregnancy and Exercise

Obstetric Services in Bucks County

At the Doylestown Women's Health Center, our mission is to provide world-class gynecology, obstetrics, and other vital healthcare services to the women of Doylestown and greater Bucks County, PA. Our expert team of female gynecologists and women's healthcare experts strives to provide comprehensive, compassionate care to our patients, and we work with patients to make treatment fit into their lifestyles. If you're starting the journey of pregnancy, we know how excited you must be – but we also know you're probably full of questions. One of the biggest questions for many women is how exercise fits into a pregnancy, and we're here to help you answer it.

Should I Exercise While I'm Pregnant?

While it may seem impossible to work out with a baby on board, exercise during pregnancy will benefit both you and your baby. In fact, the American College of OB/GYN recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Just as exercise is a vital part of health during normal life, exercise should play a central role during pregnancy and will help your body remain strong, your baby grow and develop, and your entire pregnancy run smoother.

That said, it can be hard to know what kind of exercise to perform during pregnancy. Some exercises can help with some of the common problems women experience during pregnancy, but others should be avoided while pregnant.

To help you understand the difference and create an exercise plan that benefits you and your baby, Doylestown Women’s Health Center has partnered with the Central Bucks Family YMCA to offer a complimentary three-month adult membership coupon to our pregnant patients, patients who have delivered, and patients who are thinking about getting pregnant. Want to claim your complimentary coupon? Just as your gynecologist or one of our associates during your next visit.

How to Exercise During Pregnancy

Regular exercise can help you through your pregnancy and alleviate many of the most common symptoms and problems. A well-structured exercise plan can reduce backaches, constipation, swelling and bloating, not to mention improve your mood, increase your energy and help you sleep better. Most exercises are safe during pregnancy: walking, stationary biking/spinning, yoga, dance, and Pilates are all safe and effective.

Here are a few simple guidelines to help you start your pregnancy exercise routine:

  • Avoid jumping or jarring movements.

  • After the first trimester, avoid doing exercises on your back.

  • Don’t overwhelm yourself (start with 10 minutes a day and work up to what feels comfortable).

  • Wear comfortable, loose clothing and a good support bra.

  • Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and prevent overheating.

  • Avoid outdoor activity when it is hot and humid.

  • Maintain a healthy diet.

  • You should always be able to speak while you are exercising – you should never work so hard that you're completely out of breath.

  • Be sure to call your doctor if you develop bleeding, cramps or contractions, dizziness, shortness of breath, weakness, chest pain or calf pain.

Exercise Classes for Pregnant Women in Doylestown

While all members are welcome in every class that is age-appropriate for them, below is a list of doctor recommended classes for pregnant or recently pregnant women. These classes do change periodically, so please visit the Central Bucks Family YMCA website for up-to-date scheduling for group and aquatics classes. If you have specific questions, feel free to reach out to us or talk to your female gynecologist.

Classes in the Water

Aqua Aerobics: A perfect exercise program for pregnant women, this low-impact aerobic workout in the deep end of the pool is designed to work every major muscle group. The water’s buoyancy decreases stress on hips, knees, ankles, and feet.

Aqua Dance: For those with a sense of rhythm (or not!), this fun and energizing version of water aerobics embraces the movements of a variety of upbeat styles, all while keeping your feet on the bottom of the pool.

Aqua Fit: Get fit with this more challenging water deep-water workout using your own body weight and water resistance weights. Easy on the joints, this class will have you splashing your way to improved strength.

Aqua Walk Fit: This shallow-end version of Aqua Fit incorporates a variety of activities for aerobic exercise as well as activities to target range of motion, strength, balance, and endurance. Ability to swim not necessary.

Aqua Zumba: Combine high-energy Zumba dance and fitness moves with water resistance for an all-around workout that is kind to your joints.

Aqua Infused Tabata: This class combines high-intensity interval training with the properties of water that results in a fun, high cardio workout to blast calories.

Deep Water Cardio: This challenging class incorporates high-intensity, non-impact strength and cardiovascular movements to provide one of the best forms of exercise. Participants must be comfortable in deep water.

Gentle Aqua Aerobics: This low-impact class focuses on using the resistance of the water to help increase flexibility, range of motion, balance, and posture in shallow and deep water.

H20 Tidal Wave: High-intensity workout in both the shallow and deep water to music, emphasizing cardio and strengthening arms, legs, and core.

Classes out of the Water

All Terrain Spin: Enjoy terrains including flats, sprints, climbs, and recovery.

Burst Rides/Spinning: Our instructors will take you on journeys that will include endurance rides, hills, climbs, intervals, etc. all while jamming out to their favorite music. This 30-minute ride will leave you feeling empowered.

Strength Spin: Involves steady, consistent pedaling with heavy resistance. Promotes muscular and cardiovascular development.

Chair Yoga: A gentle style of yoga practiced in a chair, or standing using the chair for support Great practice for everyone, as it deepens flexibility, strengthens personal body awareness and incorporates yoga breathing exercises.

Gentle Yoga: Designed for those new to Yoga or returning after injuries. Movement and postures at a slower pace and with more modifications.

Hatha Yoga: Focus on a variety of traditional yoga poses, standing and seated. Increase strength, flexibility, and posture.

Mat Pilates: Progressive series of floor exercises and standing postures. Enhance and develop flexibility, strength, and balance.

Meditation: In a group setting, explore the basics of meditation practices from chanting, pranayama (breathwork), and guided visualizations to learn the art of mindfulness.

Pilates/Yoga Fusion: A Pilates-based workout focusing on core strength, flexibility, and total body conditioning fused with a perfect mix of cardio and body sculpting exercises designed to make you sweat!

Taijiquan: Traditional Yang Style I Chinese art Muscles strengthened, blood circulation regulated, spirit stimulated, and the body refreshed. Promotes balance, digestion, and increased internal energy.

Vinyasa Yoga: Synchronize the breath with a progressive series of postures produces internal heat and a purifying sweat that detoxifies. Improved circulation, flexibility, strength, and a calm mind.

Beginning to Advanced Yoga: Fosters body awareness and dynamic balance while improving joint stability, core strength and flexibility.

Intermediate to Advanced Yoga: A more challenging practice emphasizing form and alignment.

Barre: Set to a blend of fun, energetic contemporary and classical music, incorporates an upper body workout with light weights, a sculpting abs portion, and a combination of high-intensity sequences of thigh, seat, and core exercises at the barre. Feel invigorated, challenged, and inspired.

Fit and Define: All the Fitness Training you need - This hi-lo cardio workout and Strength Training will get your heart pounding and define your body.

Sit and Be Fit: Formerly Forever Fit Improve muscle strength, cardio fitness, bone density, and balance. For older adults or those new to exercise. Most exercises are done seated.

Strength and Conditioning: Increase stamina, strength, and flexibility with the use of free weights, bands, balls, and other fitness equipment

Walking Club: Walking with a purpose which includes cardiovascular and muscle endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility.

Zumba: Dance fitness to Latin music. Includes salsa, merengue, cumbia, and reggaeton. Calorie-burning, heart racing, muscle pumping movements that tone and sculpt.

Zumba Gold: Modifies the moves and pacing of regular Zumba to suit the needs of the active older participant and those just starting a fit and healthy lifestyle.

Zumba Toning: For those who love Zumba with an extra emphasis on toning and sculpting to define muscles with the use of light weights.

One-on-One & Small Group Options


Personal Training and Health Coaching

Your membership includes a goal-setting conversation with a qualified Fitness Coach, and you can also schedule an orientation with our fitness staff to access a 1:1 introduction to the equipment and weight machines in the fitness center. Your Fitness Coach will help you to identify the exercise options that will best help you meet your goals for your pregnancy.

Health Coaching

A dedicated health coach will meet with you to discuss proper food choices, how to handle and overcome obstacles with food, and recommended exercise. There may be an additional fee for this service.

Personal Training / Small Group Training

One-on-one personal training is available session by session or through the Y’s PT Club. One 30-minute session is just $27. Also available are small group sessions with the flexibility to sign up for classes as you go. Bring a few of your friends for your own small group, or sign up and meet new friends. Small group instruction classes include Boxing, Strengthen Conditioning, Kettlebell, Shockwave Training, TRX Fit, TRX Stay Fit, and UGI Core. Each trainer and instructor can direct you to the classes and exercises that will work best for you, and thanks to the private or small class size, you’ll get individualized attention and advice tailored specifically to your pregnancy.

Contact Your Bucks County Women's Health & OB/GYN Center

When performed carefully and with guidance from your doctor, a regular exercise routine can improve both your and your baby's health. And as always, if you have any questions on exercising while pregnant or any other aspect of the pregnancy process, the team of female gynecologists at Doylestown Women's Health Center is here to help. Call us today at 215-340-2229 with any questions or to schedule a visit. We'll work with you to help you develop an exercise plan that works for you and your baby, and we'll stand by your side to help you get through all the surprises that come with pregnancy.