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After years of talking to people about weight and exercise issues, I thought I'd heard it all. But now and again a conversation makes me realise that there is some crazy thinking going on out there.

I was chatting to a girlfriend I got to know professionally six years ago. Since then, we've become friends, and have a healthy respect for each other as both being modern women getting out there and trying to make a difference. My friend is into her exercise, is a whiz in the kitchen, and is pregnant with her first child at 30-something. Which is why, when she asked me if it was okay to do a push-up on her toes at five months, I was a bit taken aback.

It seems that a lot of pregnant women simply opt out, relegating their exercise regimens to the 'to be continued' basket 

My immediate thought was, "Yes, why wouldn't it be?" But it led me to inquire what the current thinking is out there in prenatal land about exercising while pregnant. And after talking to pregnant non-exercisers, exercisers and even preggers personal trainers and instructors, the answers that came back were inconsistent and occasionally misguided.

There were those who were gripped with fear at the prospect of lifting a finger. Others who knew that there were certain things that they shouldn't be doing, but they weren't quite sure what. Some of them muttered something about heart rate. The end result seems to be that a lot of pregnant women simply opt out, relegating their exercise regimens to the 'to be continued' basket. It's almost as if the risk of something going wrong outweighed the possibility of things going right.

Of course, there are considerations to be taken into account when it comes to training when pregnant, but they aren't so complex that exercise should be jettisoned altogether. Besides, the benefits aren't just reserved for the mother; the child will also be better off if Mum keeps on top of her fitness at probably the most important time of her life.

There is plenty of information available to help mothers-to-be put together safe, targeted training regimens that may assist in an easier birth – and also make life a lot simpler when it comes to getting rid of baby weight and returning to pre-pregnancy fitness levels.

Michelle's tip
When planning your pregnancy exercise regime, start with your doctor or gynaecologist. From there, enlist the help of a trainer, but make sure that they have been specifically instructed in prenatal exercise.

This article first appeared in Sunday Life.