Dr Glenda McLaren
Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
Dr Glenda McLaren
Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

Exercise, Work and Travel in Pregnancy

Exercise in Pregnancy

Regular exercise is very important for general health and wellbeing for you and your baby during your pregnancy. But, the physical changes experienced during pregnancy need to be taken into consideration when planning an exercise routine.

With the increased weight gain and change in body shape, a pregnant woman’s sense of balance and coordination can be affected. The joints and ligaments become looser due to hormonal changes which can potentially increasing risk of injury. In addition, the heart rate, breathing rate and the core body temperature are increased in pregnancy. 

Maintaining healthy exercise in pregnancy, while allowing for the changes that occur, is important. Talk with our physiotherapist for your personalised exercise program that adapts to your changing needs. 

Top Tips for Exercising while Pregnant
Join an Exercise Class
Joining an exercise class is a great way to stay fit and meet new friends during your pregnancy.
Recommended exercises in pregnancy:

Contact your Obstetrician

Contact your Obstetrician if you experience any of the following symptoms before, during or after exercise:

If you have a complicated pregnancy (e.g. twins, placenta praevia, persistent bleeding) you may be advised not to exercise or to modify your exercise.

Read more about exercise during pregnancy from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 

Read more about exercise after pregnancy from Pregnancy, Birth & Baby. 

Work & Pregnancy

Most women stop working at around 34 weeks. If you are feeling well, and your pregnancy is progressing normally, you may wish to work a few weeks longer to maximise your maternity leave. We will be happy to write a letter for your employer at this time if it is safe for you to continue working.

Estimate Date Of Confinement (EDC) Letter

Most employers need a letter confirming your due date to apply for maternity leave. We are happy to provide this for you and usually do so early in your second trimester once we are certain all is progressing normally.

Carers Leave

We are happy to provide a letter for partners, grandparents and carers who need time off work to assist you to recover from the birth in those all-important first few weeks at home. Please feel free to ask our friendly staff at your appointment if you need a carer’s leave letter.

Read more about work and leave entitlements when pregnant.

Read more about Australian paid parental leave.

Travel in Airplanes

Air travel is generally safe during pregnancy, however, there are a number of aspects to consider.

  • Most airlines allow women to fly up to 36 weeks domestically and 34 weeks internationally.  Before you fly, check with your airline as to their policy.
  • You may require a letter from your Obstetrician stating that you are fit to fly and your pregnancy is progressing normally without any complications.
  • During pregnancy there is an increased risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) – blood clots forming in the legs – which is further increased while flying. 
  • Shorter trips are preferable as the risk of DVT  to reduce the time spent in an airplane.
  • Travel insurance needs to be considered. Due to risk of premature labour, it can be difficult to get travel insurance to cover your pregnancy after 24 weeks in some countries. Check with your travel agent regarding your policy and what you are covered for.

To reduce your risk of DVT the following tips are helpful:

  • wear flight socks or TED stockings
  • take a low dose aspirin (100mg daily) if on a long haul flight
  • drink plenty of water 
  • walk around the cabin
  • do leg  exercises regularly during the flight
Read more about travelling during pregnancy.

Travelling Overseas

Another aspect to consider is the standard of hospital care in some countries, should you need to be admitted while you are overseas, for a complication of pregnancy including the risk of infection. For more specific information please ask at your appointment or consult your GP or Travel Medicine specialists below.

If you are travelling overseas in pregnancy it is recommended that you see a travel medicine specialist for up to date advice regarding immunisations required in the countries you are visiting. For more information, visit travelmedicine.com.au

You may also be interested in

Pre- Pregnancy Counselling Prior to Pregnancy

Planning for Pregnancy

If you are thinking about becoming pregnant, this is an ideal time...

Antenatal Care

Antenatal Care

We encourage first time parents to attend antenatal classes...

High Risk Pregnancy

High Risk pregnancy

Most pregnancies progress normally, however, there are several potential...

Labour and Delivery

Labor and Delivery

We support spontaneous labour wherever possible. In some...

Postnatal Care

Postnatal Care

Our team of midwives from Mama & Me will be in touch to arrange...

Get in contact with our team