8 July 2016
A new study has offered evidence that pregnant women need not harbour concerns about exercise harming them or their children.
The Thomas Jefferson University research pooled data from nine clinical trials, which involved 2,059 pregnant women. About half exercised for 35 to 90 minutes three or four times per week for ten weeks or up until their delivery, while the other half did not exercise.
No significant increase in preterm birth was observed in women who exercised, while these women were also shown to be more likely to deliver vaginally, less likely to require a C-section, and to be less likely to experience gestational diabetes or high blood pressure.
This contradicts previous assumptions that exercise releases norepinephrine - a chemical that can stimulate contractions of the uterus - in the body, leading to a greater risk of premature birth.
Dr Vincenzo Berghella, director of maternal foetal medicine and professor at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, said: "Numerous studies, including this new meta-analysis, have since shown that exercise does not harm the baby, and can have benefits for the mum and baby."
Posted by Philip Briggs
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