Nurse-Midwifery M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Vingers, Julie Ann


Background/Purpose: There are many misconceptions, uncertainties, and false narratives pertaining to how much physical activity and what types of activities are safe in pregnancy. This purpose of this critical literature review was to provide more guidance on evidence-based recommendations for what activity and how much activity is considered safe, and shed light on the proven benefits being physically active provides. Additionally, the literature was reviewed to assess the benefits of exercise during pregnancy as it pertains to maternal morbidity. Theoretical Framework: Dorothea Orem’s Theory on Self-Care Deficit explains the importance of self-care, and focuses on the individual’s ability to perform self-care. Exercise during pregnancy can be viewed as a practice or type of self-care. It is also a known way to improve health and to maintain life and wellbeing. This theory guides our understanding of how a person’s knowledge of potential health problems is needed for promoting self-care behaviors. Methods: 20 scholarly articles were appraised in this review to identify the many health benefits of exercising while pregnant. Results/Findings: The applicable findings of this critical review demonstrate that exercise during pregnancy improves the overall health-related quality of life and should be recommended for all eligible pregnant women (Montoya Arizabaleta et al., 2010). Pregnancy is a wonderful time to initiate new routines and healthy behaviors because pregnant women are highly motivated during this season of life. Implications for Research Practice: Nurse-midwives are in a wonderful position to educate and counsel women on the many health benefits that exercising while pregnant has to offer. Pregnant women should be given evidenced-based information in regards to their health to assist them in their decision making process. Nurse-midwives should help patients develop an exercise routine that is safe and sustainable. They also have the responsibility to be aware of lifestyle choices that can reduce harm, and positively impact pregnancy. Keywords: Exercise in pregnancy, routine exercise, prevention, morbidity, gestational diabetes, preterm labor, low birth weight, premature rupture of membranes, and cervical insufficiency.

Degree Name

M.S. Nurse-Midwifery

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis