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There are numerous reported benefits to exercise during pregnancy, including the following: more energy, better sleep, less back pain, less swelling, improved health for mom and baby, healthy weight gain, and so much more!

Of course, not all exercise is appropriated during pregnancy, and you should always chat with your care provider about what is safe for you, personally.

Here are a few of our favorite early pregnancy exercises. They can help you feel better, strengthen your core early so you are not prone to diastasis recti (abdominal separation), and prepare for a better birth!

Belly Breathing/Draw-In

This is a simple exercise that can help strengthen your core and teach breath and body awareness.

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While sitting tailor style, consciously draw in your abdomen and hold for 2 seconds, then releasing. Repeat 12-15 times. During early pregnancy, this is an easy exercise to incorporate before or after the other exercises.


Bridging strengthens legs, hips, pelvic floor, glutes, and core. Strengthening these muscles will provide greater control and endurance during birth and can help with proper pelvic alignment.

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Lie on your back or on stability ball (whichever you prefer) with knees and feet straight and in a line. Tuck pelvis to neutral position, keeping shoulders relaxed and spine straight. Squeeze glutes and push pelvis up off the floor keeping your core tight and knees straight. Pause. Slowly lower down to starting position and repeat.

Side Planks

The modified side plank strengthens hips and core muscles. It also helps lengthen the spine and can prevent sciatica. By strengthening the transverses abdominis it may help prevent Diastasis Recti, and it is a g great alternative to crunches or planks during pregnancy.

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Lie on the floor on your side with knees bent. Place your elbow directly under your shoulder and relax your neck. Activate core and glutes. Slowly lift hips off ground with your spine straight and pause at the top for 10-20 seconds with opposite arm straight above your shoulder. Slowly return to starting position and switch sides.

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