Psychological, Social and Behaviour Changes During Pregnancy: Implications for Physical Activity and Exercise

  • Lou AtkinsonEmail author
  • Megan Teychenne


Pregnancy is often cited as a time in a woman’s life when motivation towards having a healthy lifestyle increases, including a desire to pursue physical activities and improve physical fitness. There is also a growing body of evidence which demonstrates the potential for physical activity to positively influence psychological well-being during pregnancy. However, pregnancy is also a period of intense physical and psychological change. Alongside the many established social and cultural beliefs associated with pregnancy, these changes contribute significant complexities to women’s adoption and maintenance of exercise during this time. In this chapter we will examine the current evidence surrounding the psychosocial aspects of an active pregnancy and provide recommendations for providing psychological and behavioural support to women to become or remain active throughout their pregnancy.


Pregnancy Physical activity Exercise Psychosocial factors Behaviour change 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Applied Health Research Group, School of Life & Health SciencesAston UniversityBirminghamUK
  2. 2.Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN)School of Exercise and Nutrition SciencesBurwoodAustralia
  3. 3.Deakin UniversityGeelongAustralia

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