HealthDay News — According to a report by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, strenuous exercise during pregnancy does not have an increased risk of pregnancy complications for either mother or baby.

The new statement is one of several reports on exercise and pregnancy prepared by the IOC.

In this report, the committee found that there’s high and moderate evidence, respectively, that exercise during pregnancy reduces the risk of excess weight in babies at birth and doesn’t boost the risk of labor complications, such as the need for induced labor or episiotomy.

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In addition, there’s moderate evidence that exercise doesn’t prolong labor, boost the risk of premature birth or increase the risk of complications in the infant at birth. It’s not clear if exercise lowers the risk of cesarean birth or lowers the risk of tissue trauma and muscular tears during delivery.

For women who engage in high-intensity training routines, the Olympic statement recommended that these women cut back on their routine in the week after ovulation when they’re trying to become pregnant. Intense exercise during this time might affect the ability of the fertilized egg to implant on the wall of the uterus, the IOC statement suggested. 

There’s also some evidence that repetitive weight training during the first 3 months of pregnancy could lead to a higher risk of miscarriage.


Bø Kari, et al. “Exercise And Pregnancy In Recreational And Elite Athletes: 2016 Evidence Summary From The IOC Expert Group Meeting, Lausanne. Part 2—The Effect Of Exercise On The Fetus, Labour And Birth: Table 1”. Br J Sports Med. 2016 October 12. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2016-096810. [Epub ahead of print]

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