Acceptable physical activity and exercise plans

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A plan for regular exercise is another key component of weight management [21-25]. Women need to dispel the myth that women should "take it easy" during pregnancy. Chapter 3, "Physical Activity and Exercise in Pregnancy," provides a thorough discussion regarding physical activity and exercise during pregnancy. In brief, pregnant women should consult their doctor before initiating an exercise program or modifying their existing regimen to rule out complications [24]. Light-to-moderate physical activity does not negatively influence fetal development for a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy [21, 25]. A properly designed exercise program during pregnancy is beneficial and can contribute to healthy weight management at this time [22, 24].

In addition to adequate calorie and nutrient intake, and appropriate exercise and physical activity, various lifestyle factors should be considered when planning for appropriate weight gain during pregnancy. Occupation, leisure activities, stress level, and habitual dietary behaviors (i.e., eating out, eating cues, binge eating) are important considerations for weight management programs. Behavior modification strategies may need to be implemented for women who have problems with habitual unhealthy dietary behaviors (See Chap. 9, "Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa during Pregnancy"). All of these factors should be taken into consideration in consultation with a registered dietitian and in collaboration with the supervising physician.

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