1. Podcast interview on “How much should you exercise while pregnant?” for the Get-Fit Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tips. Moderator Brock Armstrong, March 2019.

Podcast interview on "Bumping up physical activity throughout pregnancy" for the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Moderator Daniel Friedman, January 2019.

Podcast interview on "Extreme Pregnancy: Maternal physical activity at Everest base camp" for the Journal of Applied Physiology. Moderator Judith Neubauer, Author Margie Davenport, Expert Lorna Moore, September 2018.

Podcast interview with Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification Association & Program for Pregnancy and Postpartum Health Director, Dr. Margie Davenport, November-2018.

Podcast interview for Gradcast, Western Unviersity on Prenatal Exercise, June 2018


Alberta at Noon, CBC Radio: Exericse and Pregnancy. Host Judy Aldous, Experts Margie Davenport and Trevor Day

Edmonton AM, CBC Radio: Exericse during Pregnancy.


Global News, Kim Smith: New Canadian pregnancy guideline shows exercise cuts odds of major complications by 40%.

Global News, Jennifer Crosby: New study shows exercise cuts odds of major pregnancy complications by 40%.


Night shifts, long hours linked to miscarriages and preterm births; National Post

How much should you exercise while pregnancy?; Scientific American

How to safely exercise during pregnancy; The New York Times

These extreme athletes are proof that pregnant women don’t have to take it easy; The Washington Post

Physiopedia Clinician-Scientist Spotlight: a Q&A with Dr. Margie Davenport

Serena Williams got it right - exercise is healthy during pregnancy; Five Thirty Eight

New Canadian guidelines find exercise critical part of pregnancy - with some caveats; The Globe and Mail

Exercise during pregnancy can reduce risk of major complications; CBC News

Exercising during pregnancy cuts odds of complications by a quarter; University of Alberta

Working out during pregnancy reduces chance of major complications, research shows; The Star Edmonton

Protecting pregnant womens hearts; The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada


Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Advanced Learning Module: Exercise & Pregnancy

The Program for Pregnancy and Postpartum Health (PPPH) is a multi-site research program developed in 2013, with the mission of conducting research to improve the life-long health of pregnant and postpartum women and their children.

The PPPH is directed by Dr. Margie Davenport who is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation. She received her PhD (2010) in Integrative Exercise Physiology from the University of Western Ontario and conducted a 2 year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Calgary.

Her rearch program examines the metabolic and cardiovascular adaptations associated with normal and complicated pregnancies. Her primary interest is in the benefits of exercise prior to, during and following pregnancy for both mother and child.

“As a mother of two young daughters I understand the importance, difficulties and benefits of healthy living during pregnancy. Our goal is to provide women with the knowledge and guidance to achieve a healthy pregnancy. After all, a healthy pregnancy lays the foundation for a healthy future for you and your baby."

Margie Davenport PhD Director, Program for Pregnancy and Postpartum Health

The Program for Pregnancy and Postpartum Health is currently conducting research into how pregnancy and the postpartum period affects the short- and long-term risk of chronic disease for both mother and infant. We have studies that are as short as a few hours or as long as several months/years! If you are interested in learning more, please contact us at:
pregnant@ualberta.ca or call 780-492-0642


Pregnancy is an exciting, but often overwhelming, time in a woman's life. Many pregnant women are more tired than usual, have swollen hands and feet, and have new aches and pains. It may seem like the perfect time to rest and relax but new research is showing that being active during pregnancy has many short and long term benefit for both you and your baby. Research has shown that exercise during pregnancy can:

Boost your mood and energy,
Improve sleep,
Help prevent excessive weight gain,
Improve circulation,
Increase tolerance to labour,
Decrease your risk for gestational diabetes, high blood pressure during
pregnancy and postpartum depression,
The list goes on!

NOTE: All pregnant women should speak to their health care provider about beginning or continuing to exercise during pregnancy. The PARmed-X for Pregnancy is used by health care providers as a screening tool for contraindications to exercise during pregnancy. You can use it to help start the conversation!


Gaining an appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy is important for the health of you and your baby! In 2009 the Institute of Medicine updated their weight gain recommendations for pregnant women. These guidelines were designed to optimize outcomes for both mother and child. Research has shown that gaining too little weight increases the risk of having a low birth weight baby. Evidence also demonstrates that gaining too much weight while pregnant increases the risk of having a high birth weight baby and postpartum weight retention. Moderation is key!

All pregnant women are recommended to gain between 0.5-2kg (1.1-4.4lbs) in the first trimester or 12 weeks of pregnancy. The amount of weight women are recommended to gain in the second and third trimesters are based on body mass index before pregnancy.
IOM WEIGHT GAIN CHART: New Recommendations for total and rate of weight T gain during regnancy, by Pregnancy bmi

Prepregnancy BMIBMI+ (kg/m2)Total Weight Gain (lbs)Rates of Weight Gain* 2nd and 3rd Trimester (lbs/week)
Underweight<18.528–401 (1–1.3)
Normal weight18.5-24.925–351 (0.8–1)
Overweight25.0-29.915–250.6 (0.5–0.7)
Obese (includes all classes)≥30.011–200.5 (0.4–0.6)

+ To calculate BMI go to www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/
* Calculations assume a 0.5–2 kg (1.1–4.4 lbs) weight gain in the first trimester
(based on Siega-Riz et al., 1994; Abrams et al., 1995; Carmichael et al., 1997)

For more information about weight gain during pregnancy.
Where does the weight go when you are pregnant?

Baby: 8 pounds
Placenta: 2-3 pounds
Amniotic fluid: 2-3 pounds
Breast tissue: 2-3 pounds
Blood supply: 4 pounds
Stored fat for delivery and breastfeeding: 5-9 pounds
Larger uterus: 2-5 pounds

Total: 25-35 pounds recommended for pre-pregnancy BMI of 18.5-24.9kg/m2