Does exercise cause miscarriage?* Very unlikely
Many believe the exercise during pregnancy, especially vigorous activity can lead to miscarriage. Only a few studies have specifically addressed the question. These have shown no association between exercise and miscarriage. One study showed a protective effect. A 2007 Danish study of nearly 93,000 pregnancies, including 3187 miscarriages, found that exercise of any intensity in late pregnancy had no affect on risk of miscarriage. The same study found some evidence that high impact exercise is associated with miscarriage in early pregnancy. High impact exercise is activity in which both feet are off the ground at one time – it involves jumping and jolts. The researchers suggest it may be the jolting that causes problems. However, due to limitations of the study, the authors state this evidence is insufficient to change exercise guidelines or to outweigh the well documented positive effects of exercise during pregnancy.
So get moving, Moms! Follow the Beginnings Guides, Exercise Guide for Moms-to-be, (p27) including “Do not jerk or bounce”.
*Miscarriage is defined as fetal loss before 22 weeks gestation.
Madsen M, Jorgensen T, Jensen ML, et al. (2007) Leisure time physical exercise during pregnancy and the risk of miscarriage: a study within the Danish National Birth Cohort. BJOG International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (114)1419-1426.