Exercise & Activity Guidelines
Exercise in pregnancy promotes healthy well-being.
- Exercise may help decrease discomforts such as nausea, heartburn, swelling and insomnia, improve digestion and reduce constipation, and improve stamina and flexibility for labor and delivery.
- You can continue exercise during pregnancy (unless restricted by your doctor).
- Regular exercise (at least 3 times a week) is preferable to intermittent activity.
- Avoid exercising flat on your back after the first trimester (12 weeks).
- You may need to modify the intensity of your workout. Do not exercise to the point of exhaustion, palpitations and excessive shortness of breath.
- Choose exercises that do not require balance.
- Do not participate in activities where there is potential for even mild abdominal trauma.
- Avoid becoming overheated. Drink lots of water before, during and after exercise.
- Pre-pregnancy exercise routines should be resumed gradually after delivery. Check with your doctor first.
- Recommended exercises: walking, stationary biking, swimming, low-impact aerobics, light free weights and yoga (avoid certain movements as your balance may be affected by the pregnancy).
Working while pregnant
The majority of women are able and encouraged to continue working during pregnancy. Continuing to work improves mood and decreases the risk of some pregnancy complications. Occasionally adjustments will have to be made. It is not advised to lift more than 20 pounds or climb a ladder during pregnancy. Documentation can be provided from your doctor to advise your place of employment on any restrictions. In rare circumstances, it may be recommended to discontinue working while pregnant due to certain high risk pregnancy complications. If one of these issues arises during your pregnancy, you will be advised by your physician to stop working and documentation can be provided for your place of employment.
As you prepare for maternity leave, we are happy to complete FMLA papers for your place of employment. Please allow 10 business days to finalize.
Continue to wear your seat belt at all times. Place the lap belt under your abdomen as low as possible. If traveling for a long distance, try to get up and walk or stretch at least every 2-3 hours. Do ankle exercises occasionally while sitting to keep blood circulating in your legs.
We recommend you stay within approximately 1 hour of home during your last month of pregnancy. Airlines may refuse to let you fly within the United States after 36 weeks of pregnancy and after 32 weeks for international flights. Please check with your airline prior to booking air travel. Make sure you drink plenty of water so you do not dehydrate. Take the office phone number with you in case you have any questions while away. Travel is not recommended for pregnant women in areas with malaria or where Zika outbreaks are ongoing.
Zika is a virus that is primarily transmitted through mosquito bites; however, it can also be transmitted sexually and passed from a woman to her baby. This virus has the potential to cause devastating birth defects with a wide range of problems including an abnormally small head. Fortunately, exposure to Zika virus is extremely uncommon unless you or your sexual partner has traveled to areas of active Zika transmission including Mexico, most of Central and South America, the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands, and parts of Asia and Africa. We advise you and your sexual partner avoid traveling to high-risk areas during pregnancy.
Please let your physician know if you or your partner has traveled to one of these high-risk areas during the 6 months prior to your pregnancy. Special testing may be required to see if you have been exposed to Zika For more information, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/zika.
If your pregnancy is progressing normally, you do not need to alter your sexual activities. Intercourse will not harm the baby. Comfortable positioning is important. You may be advised to limit or avoid intercourse for the following reasons: bleeding, abnormal placenta location, premature labor or rupture of membranes (leaking amniotic fluid).
Massage and chiropractic treatment
Soft tissue massage treatment is safe in pregnancy. Inform your massage therapist that you are pregnant before beginning treatment. Chiropractic care should be performed by someone who is very experienced in treating pregnant patients and should be discussed with your physician.
We encourage all obstetrical patients to look into prenatal classes at Cabell Huntington Hospital. Childbirth classes are available as well as classes on breastfeeding, infant CPR, new baby care, and sibling classes. For information or to register, please call 304-526-BABY.
Community service organizations
- Cabell County Family Resource Network: 304-697-0255
- United Way, Cabell County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership, Education Matters, Financial Stability and Success by 6: 304-523-8929
- Huntington City Mission: 304-523-0293
Early childhood/development/day care
- Birth to Three: 304-523-5444
- Head Start & Pre-K: 304-697-4600
- LINK Child Care Resource & Referral: 1-800-894-9540
- TEAM for WV Children: 304-523-9587
- WV Help Me Grow: 1-800-642-8522
- Cabell-Huntington Health Department: 304-523-6483
- Ebenezer Medical Outreach: 304-529-0753
- Medicaid: 304-528-5800
- WIC – Cabell County: 1-800-953-1009/304-302-2013
- WV Children’s Health Insurance Program: 1-877-WVACHIP
- Family Child Care Food Program: 304-751-5253
Crisis and emergency needs
- Maternal Addiction & Recovery Center (MARC): 304-691-8730
- Abuse Hotlines (children and adult protective services, domestic violence): 1-800-352-6513
- Branches Domestic Violence Shelter: 304-529-2382
- Information & Referral (referrals, utility assistance, food and clothing pantries, etc.): 304-528-5660
- Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222
- Marshall OB Concern Line: 681-378-4662