Page 138 - Athletic Health Handbook
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TEAM PHYSICIAN’S CORNER

THE PREGNANT ATHLETE

TRACY ZASLOW, MD DURING PREGNANCY, many physiologic changes occur that
Sports Medicine Fellow, Family Medicine
David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine affect athletic conditioning and exercise; however, these changes do not
Los Angeles, California routinely require abstinence from exercise. In fact, exercise has a number of
maternal and fetal effects, many of which are beneficial. Beginning a regular
SHARON L. HAME, MD exercise regimen before conception and continuing it during pregnancy
Associate Clinical Professor may have several positive effects on maternal physiologic adaptations to
Division of Sports Medicine, Department pregnancy, which may lead to feto-protective effects later in pregnancy.12
of Orthopaedic Surgery
David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine The normal physiologic changes of pregnancy, effects of exercise on the
Los Angeles, California mother and the fetus, recommendations for exercise during pregnancy,
contraindications, and postpartum return to activity will be reviewed.

Physiologic Changes

Cardiovascular System: The blood volume increases by almost 50 percent
during pregnancy. The increase in plasma volume occurs before the increase
in red cell mass, leading to a dilutional anemia in the second trimester that
corrects by term. Stroke volume, cardiac output, and resting heart rate also

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