Meghan D Condron
 Physical Therapy, P.C.
Working with families to help children reach their full potential 

Prenatal & Postnatal Exercise Programs 


Pregnancy and motherhood can be both exciting and overwhelming.  Every system of the body undergoes major changes to support baby's growth and development.  This can leave mommy to be feeling the following symptoms

  • fatigue
  • mood swings (due to fluctuating hormone levels)
  • musculoskeletal aches & pains (most common in the low back, pelvis and sciatic region)
  • leg cramps
  • mild fluid retention 
  • heartburn
  • varicose veins
  • difficult sleeping 
  • decreased balance due to weight gain
  • stress & anxiety

A regular exercise program tailored to your needs can help reduce or even alleviate these symptoms.   In addition, studies have shown that prenatal exercise is linked to a shorter and less complicated labor as well as a quicker post partum recovery.  There are benefits for your baby as well studies show that while in utero babies of exercises mothers may have greater cardiovascular function and enhanced placenta function.  In addition exercise is a great way to reduce maternal stress which directly translates to baby feeling less stress.  
According to the American Congress of Obstetrician and Gynecologists (ACOG) "In the absence of either medical or obstetric complications, 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise a day on most, if not all, days of the week is recommended for pregnant women."  It is very important that you speak with your doctor before starting an exercise program as each pregnancy is unique.  In some cases, your doctor may say some or all forms of exercise are contraindicated.  For more information on exercise and pregnancy from the ACOG please click here.  


Once baby arrives there is a state of bliss as you finally get to meet your new little one.  Soon after that reality sets in ...hormonal changes, sleepless nights, physical recovery from labor & delivery all while meeting the constant needs of newborn and possibly siblings.  Under perfect conditions this exciting job of motherhood can be quite challenging.  Things are never perfect and there are always added demands (housework, cleaning, financial obligations, career etc).  It is important for new (and experienced) mothers to take the time to recharge her batteries to stay mentally and physically strong.   

A regular exercise program tailored to the needs of the post pregnant body provides the following benefits
  • return to pre pregnancy weight 
  • return to pre pregnancy cardiovascular fitness level
  • increase energy
  • decrease aches & pains (usually related to weak core muscles)
  • improve incontinence complications
  • improve mood and well being (decrease the risk of post partum depression*/baby blues)1  

Additional Information can be provided during sessions 
  • typical develpoment of baby
  • activities to promote overall development of newborn and infant
  • handouts for baby gear safety, toy ideas and more

    As with prenatal exercise, it is very important to speak with your doctor regarding a postnatal exercise program.  The general rule of thumb is 6 weeks, however each woman's body is different and only your doctor will be able to tell you when, what type, frequency and duration is safe for your body.

    *Please click here for the ACOG website on signs & symptoms of post partum depression  and contact your doctor immediately with concerns.

    1.  E. Norman, M. Sherburn, R. H. Osborne, M. P. Galea. An Exercise and Education Program Improves Well-Being of New Mothers: A Randomized Controlled Trial.Physical Therapy, 2010;