Weightlifting during pregnancy? - Mothering Forums
I'm Pregnant > Weightlifting during pregnancy?
Verdahekawi's Avatar Verdahekawi 09:27 PM 08-29-2013

I'll be 5 weeks on Saturday and I'm wondering whether it's bad to keep lifting. I do barbells at the gym and while I know benching is a no-no because you're flat on your back, and I don't really feel comfortable deadlifting while pregnant (worried I'll throw out my back), I'm wondering whether it's ok to keep doing squats and the military press with just the bar, which is 45lbs and frankly not much weight for me compared to what I was doing pre-pregnancy. If I do short sets, i.e. 3 sets of 5 reps with a good break between sets, it doesn't raise my heart rate that much. I switched to the vertical press machine instead of benching, which has you comfortably seated and pressing the weight forward from your chest. Again, reduced weight from what I'm used to. I'm already overweight and I'd like to stay as fit as I can during pregnancy. Any thoughts? Other than being tubby I have no other health issues or risk factors.

Tear78's Avatar Tear78 05:00 AM 08-30-2013
Congrats! I would ask your doc. That being said, my doc said it was fine for me to keep lifting my daughter (25lbs) during pregnancy as long as I lifted correctly so I didn't hurt my back. I think if youre used to lifting more than 45 lbs then its probably fine. She said it was fine to keep exercising too just keep my heart rate under 140. Please do verify this with your doc though. Enjoy! I definitely was glad I kept a bit active during pregnancy this time.
Verdahekawi's Avatar Verdahekawi 06:06 AM 08-30-2013
Thanks, I do plan to ask my midwife but she's out of town right now and my first appointment isn't for a few weeks which is why I'm crowdsourcing the question in the meantime wink1.gif It's far less than what I was doing before and puts no strain on my back with proper form. Really it's barely anything to squat but easier (in my opinion) to have good form and balance with the bar than just a body weight squat.
Selissa's Avatar Selissa 07:41 AM 08-30-2013

yeah both my midwives and an ob told me it was fine to keep lifting as long as i didn't push myself to hard, and that i was just continuing a pre-existing regimen.

*MamaJen*'s Avatar *MamaJen* 12:48 PM 09-03-2013

From everything I've read, not only is it fine, it's good for you and the baby. Until you get large and uncomfortable, there's no reason to reduce your weights, as long as you listen to your body and it feels okay. You can lay flat on your back through the first trimester. It's not until the second trimester that you have to worry about compressing the vena cava. Also, there's an ancient old myth floating around that a pregnant woman can't get her heart rate above 140. They believed that for like 10 minutes in the 1980s, but that's found to be totally incorrect.

A lot of my crossfit classes include strength training, and it's been great so far (I'm 8 weeks along).

LilyTiger's Avatar LilyTiger 05:22 PM 09-03-2013

Check out crossfitmom.com for a wonderful weightlifting Q&A. 


I lifted until 38 weeks and did it because it felt amazing, not to prove anything.  Back squats (in my case, 90 pound squats - my regular squat is about 150#, so I definitely toned it down) felt so good on my hips and back.  My form was much better thanks to all the relaxin in my system.  I had a difficult labor, but pushing was super easy and such a relief, which I attribute in part to my strength at that time. 


The above website has some really helpful general guidelines for exercise during pregnancy.  My OB tried to tell me not to lift anything heavier than 25 pounds, which is ridiculous.   You can lift what you're comfortable lifting, but watch your form and make sure it feels comfortable at the time.  Don't strain yourself and avoid heavy deadlifts or lifts where you "bear down".  Otherwise, you're good to go!

Verdahekawi's Avatar Verdahekawi 11:08 PM 09-03-2013

That's great info, LilyTiger, thank you!