39 Weeks Pregnant & Still Exercising. Why?


I’m 39 weeks pregnant (well actually 39 weeks and several days to be exact) and still exercising daily. Since so many women have stopped exercising by this point in pregnancy, I thought I’d share why I’m sticking with it. Hopefully some of my reasons for continuing to exercise will inspire others to maintain a regular exercise program throughout pregnancy.

39 weeks pregnant - fit for expecting

It makes me feel good

Physically and mentally. Exercising during pregnancy should always make you feel better not worse. I do activities that make me feel good, and those can vary depending on the day. Listening to my body and being flexible allows me to continue to exercise safely and to actually enjoy it!

For my baby’s health

Research shows several health benefits for babies of moms who regularly exercise throughout their entire pregnancies. Benefits include a reduced risk of developing future weight problems, improved ability to handle the stresses of labor and delivery, improved ability to adjust to life outside of the womb and improved neurological development.

For my health

Research also shows several health benefits for moms who regularly exercise throughout their entire pregnancies. Reduced risk of developing gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, postpartum depression. Reduced risk of preterm birth. Reduced need for medical interventions during labor and delivery. Improved ability to lose both weight and fat after delivery.

To prepare my body for labor and delivery

Exercise is a great way to prepare your body for labor and delivery. Labor and delivery is a significant physical event and the right kind of “training” is essential…much like training for a marathon. Here are just a few examples of childbirth prep exercises: stability ball childbirth prep, squatting, exercise trick to help the baby engage in the pelvis.

To help me recover from childbirth

Staying physically fit during pregnancy works wonders during the recovery process. Regardless of the type of delivery you have, your body goes through a lot and needs to heal and recover after. Exercising during pregnancy helps make the post-pregnancy recovery process easier and faster.

To reduce pregnancy aches and pains

The right kind of exercise done regularly throughout pregnancy reduces (or even eliminates in some cases) typical pregnancy aches and pains. But the trick is that you have to keep exercising in order to keep the pains away. Research has shown that women who stop exercising at some point during pregnancy often experience an emergence of aches and pains after stopping.

To strengthen my body for the challenges of motherhood

Motherhood brings with it a multitude of challenges, but in this case I’m referring to the physical challenges of having a baby – all of the lifting, carrying, bending and twisting. Babies are heavy and keep getting heavier. Then add on all of the baby stuff. Motherhood requires strength in specific areas and exercising during pregnancy (and then continuing after baby is born) will help you lift, carry, bend and twist pain-free.

What are your reasons for continuing to exercise?


  1. Carin

    It is so wonderful to hear that you are still working out daily! I didn’t take a single day off until the day I delivered (at 40 weeks 3 days). I can say for CERTAINTY that my running, lifting, and swimming are the reason that I had a flawless natural birth. I only pushed for 35 minutes and she was out! The midwives said that there is no question that my hard workouts were the reason I had such a smooth delivery and I agree. Keep it up! I promise it will pay off! I am now 3.5 weeks post-partum and am training for a half marathon. I ran 8 miles today and felt great. Listen to your body, and don’t let anyone stop you! xo

    • Rachel

      Awesome! I am 38 weeks and 4 days. I have been working out the entire time and feel great. Looking forward to delivering a healthy baby girl and hopefully getting back to running a few weeks afterwards!

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