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Lifestyle changes during pregnancy

During pregnancy there are some things that you don’t need to avoid completely, but need to take extra care with.


Staying active during pregnancy is important.

There are some activities and exercise to avoid during pregnancy, such as:

  • skiing
  • scuba diving
  • kickboxing and other combat sports
  • horse-riding
  • field sports
  • hot yoga


You should avoid sleeping on your back after 16 weeks of pregnancy.

Sleeping on your side can reduce the risk of stillbirth.


Hormonal changes can cause skin problems during pregnancy. These can be made worse by exposure to sunlight.

It's important to use sun protection during pregnancy. Avoid tanning - outside or using a sunbed.


Always wash your hands after you have been in contact with animals, even pets.

You should avoid handling animal waste or cleaning cats’ litter boxes during pregnancy. This can put you at risk of getting infections like toxoplasmosis. If you cannot avoid this, wear gloves. Wash your hands well afterwards.

You should avoid coming into contact with animals that are giving birth. This can also increase your risk of getting an infection.

Page last reviewed: 10 May 2019
Next review due: 10 May 2022