While research has demonstrated that exercise is healthy for pregnant women (Ramirez-Velez et al., 2017), many pregnant women do not meet medical recommendations and hesitate to engage in exercise. This may be related to the dominant discourses circulating in society and popular media. For this study, I selected a sample of top-selling pregnancy books to explore the attitudes, beliefs, and ideas circulating in these texts surrounding exercise during pregnancy. I conducted a discourse analysis to deconstruct the meaning of the language used and the advice given. Throughout the analysis, a postmodern feminist epistemology is employed to consider the implications this discourse may have on a pregnant woman. I discovered evidence within the books that represents the current social constructions which may contribute to the lack of participation in exercise amongst pregnant women.


exercise, pregnancy, social construction, discourse analysis

Author Bio(s)

Savanna Kerstiens (BA, University of Louisville) is completing her MA in Health Communication at DePaul University. She has participated in funded research projects for the National Health Institute and the American Heart Association related to community health and organizing community programs to raise awareness on public health matters. Her principal areas of interest are in strategic communication methods on distributing health information to the public, particularly relating to women's health and family communication. Please direct correspondence to skerstie@depaul.edu.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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