© 2015 Guelfi et al. Background: Despite the well-established benefits of exercise during pregnancy, many women remain inactive. This may be related, in part, to women's beliefs about exercise in pregnancy, which are likely influenced by cultural background. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to compare attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control toward exercise, together with current levels of exercise participation between Chinese and Australian women during pregnancy. A second aim was to determine the extent to which these factors predict intention to exercise within a Theory of Planned Behaviour framework. Methods: Pregnant women (22 ± 2 weeks of gestation) living in China (n = 240) and Australia (n = 215) completed a questionnaire designed to assess a) maternal beliefs regarding the importance of exercise in relation to other health behaviours, b) attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control and intentions toward exercise, and c) current levels of physical activity. One-way analyses of variance were used to compare the demographics, maternal beliefs, attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control, intentions to exercise, and current physical activity levels between the Chinese and Australian samples. Structural equation modelling was used to determine which factors predicted intention to exercise in the two samples. Results: Australian women reported higher levels of current exercise and intentions to exercise in the next four weeks of pregnancy compared with Chinese women. These observations were associated with higher instrumental attitudes, ratings of subjective norm, and perceived behavioural control toward exercise in the Australian women. Instrumental attitudes and perceived behavioural control predicted intention to exercise in the Australian women, while perceived behavioural control was the only predictor of intentions to exercise in the Chinese sample. Conclusions: Beliefs, attitudes, barriers and intentions towards exercise during pregnancy differ between cultures. Understanding these differences may assist in the design of exercise interventions to maximise exercise adherence and lifelong physical activity patterns.