Healthy moms will give birth to healthy babies…this sure is a known fact. However recent studies have found that moderate intensity exercise three times a week during the second and the third trimesters of pregnancy can reduce the risk of delivering babies with high birth weight to half.
According to the research study led by Ruben Barakat of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Alejandro Lucia of the European University of Madrid, and Jonatan Ruiz of the University of Granada, moderate level of exercising during pregnancy can reduce the risk of high birth weight of the newly born.
This would greatly reduce the risk of delivering babies with macrosomia, a condition in which the birth weight of the baby is over 4kgs, thus avoiding the need of caesarean delivery.
The researchers along with other Sports Science graduates conducted training sessions for a sample of 510 sedentary pregnant women meaning they exercised 20 minutes or fewer than 3 days a week.
A total of 510 out of 780 Spanish pregnant women were approached by the researchers, the women who were attending two primary health care centres in Leganes (Madrid) gave consent to participate in the study.
The other group followed a training program which consisted of moderate exercises. The intervention group performed a 55 minute exercise routine which consisted of aerobic, muscle strength and flexibility exercises. Three days a week from week 10-12 to the weeks 38-39 of pregnancy, the women underwent the exercise routine.
The group was properly scrutinised and proper care was given to the women who performed the exercises.
Findings of the study:
The researchers found that moderate level of exercises during pregnancy could at least reduce two major risks involved in pregnancy. It reduced the risk of macrosomia by 58% and caesarean delivery by 34 %. The training sessions did not reduce the appearance of gestational diabetes mellitus though.
With the help of this study, many pregnant women will be encouraged to try the exercise routine under expert supervision. According to the lead author of the study, Jonatan Ruiz, researcher in the University of Granada Department of Physical and Sports Education and corresponding author of the study, she said, “reinforce the need to encourage more supervised exercise interventions during pregnancy to combat the negative effects of gestational diabetes mellitus”.
Exercising during pregnancy is a great way to maintain both the health of the mother and in turn maintaining the health of the newly born. In the past, researchers have already found out how exercising regularly during normal pregnancy can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, however with the latest study, moderate exercising not only leads to normalised birth weight but also improve the health of the child and avoid the risks of childhood obesity.
The study is published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.