Ask the Experts
Can I lift weights while I'm pregnant?
"Strength training is not only safe, it is actually very important during pregnancy," Shashoua says. "Women who stay fit and strong during pregnancy are able to get through the 1 to 3 hours of pushing that is sometimes required to deliver a baby better than those who aren't as strong," he explains. "It also helps women feel better about themselves." Regardless of her strength-training experience, a pregnant woman may initiate or continue a program, Shashoua adds.
To avoid injury, however, lift lighter weights and do a higher number of repetitions than nonpregnant women, Shashoua says. Consider hiring a trainer who is educated in prenatal fitness to teach you safe and proper form, even if it's just for one or two sessions. If you feel unstable, hold onto a sturdy chair while doing split-leg lunges or squats.