Date of Award
Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)
Physical fitness and sports participation has increased in popularity over the years. This raises concerns as to whether exercising while pregnant is beneficial or harmful to the mother and her unborn child. Research has determined the maternal and fetal responses during various forms of exercise. This research has been used to help establish guidelines and recommendations for pregnant women. However, there continues to be controversy as to the exercise guidelines pregnant females need to follow. Women experience physical changes throughout their pregnancy which can lead to low back pain, abdominal or pelvic floor dysfunctions. These complications can be prevented or alleviated through modified exercises designed for pregnant females. The purpose of this literature review is to analyze the maternal and fetal responses of prenatal exercise, to determine exercise guidelines for pregnant females, and to establish exercises women can perform to help minimize complications from physical changes during pregnancy.
Merkel, Sue, "Exercise during Pregnancy" (1997). Physical Therapy Scholarly Projects. 311.