Women should exercise during pregnancy - provided they consult with doctors or midwives, a statement issued by the Royal College of Midwives has said.

The statement followed news reports of Amber Miller, who gave birth after completing the Chicago Marathon over the weekend. Amber completed the marathon but experienced contractions midway through the race, which she took part in while 39 weeks pregnant.

Although not commenting on the specific case, Gail Johnson, education and professional development advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said: "Pregnancy is often a time when women reappraise their lifestyle and exercise is something they think about to ensure that they are fit and well for the pregnancy and birth.

"There is evidence to support the value of exercise in pregnancy, this can include lowering blood pressure, helping to maintain a healthy weight gain and an increase in endorphins, 'the natural feel good factor'. What exercise is appropriate for pregnancy will vary for each woman, the best place to start is to discuss it with the midwife or GP."

Posted by Robert Mair