Using data collected during each of the three COVID-19 lockdown periods in the UK, this report describes pregnant and postnatal women’s physical activity engagement, opportunities to be active, and resources to support physical activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Women reported low levels of physical activity (minutes per week) compared to pre-lockdown, with their opportunities and ability to be active being negatively impacted by the pandemic. However, women perceived themselves to be more active during the lockdowns, compared to pre-pandemic, highlighting the potential mismatch between their perceived and self-reported physical activity levels.
The report found that only 52% of pregnant and 43% of postnatal women had been given information about being active at any point during their pregnancy or after childbirth. Additionally, 80% of pregnant and postnatal women felt there was a lack of information about the activities that were safe for them to perform. This highlights the importance of healthcare professionals being equipped with the knowledge, skills and confidence to discuss the national physical activity guidelines and thereby empowering women to make informed decisions around their physical activity engagement.