The Active Woman’s Guide to Pregnancy – Aneema Van Groenou

This is a fantastic book that doesn’t dumb down the importance of being active during pregnancy, and goes into great detail about the safety and appropriateness of many different sports and activities. It explains the benefits of exercise during pregnancy, precautions, and has recommendations as to what to start if you were fairly inactive before getting pregnant. It then discusses a whole heap of different activities (including hiking, surfing, swimming, snowboarding, horseriding…) and whether or not they are appropriate in pregnancy depending on the trimester you are in and your current level of expertise. No absolute recommendations are made (except, notably, for diving, which is not recommended at all during pregnancy) – just levels of risk to consider ie low, medium or high. I really like the fact that it allows you to make an informed decision about what you want to do during pregnancy and gives plenty of practical advice about making exercise safer and more comfortable. It doesn’t just tell you that walking, swimming and yoga are excellent exercise during pregnancy and leave it at that. As with many books that I recommend, I like the fact that it’s written by a medical doctor and hence, in my opinion, gives a balanced view to the picture. I highly recommend this inspiring book to all women, even those who didn’t do any exercise before pregnancy.

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