Moderate exercise reduces weight gain during pregnancy

6 June 2015

Women who exercise during pregnancy are less likely to have gestational diabetes and have more controlled weight gain, a new study has found.

Published in the BJOG: an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the research found that enrolling healthy pregnant women, who did little or no exercise, into exercise programmes could lower their weight and risk of gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes, which is one of the most frequent complications of pregnancy, is often associated with an increased risk of serious disorders such as pre-eclampsia, hypertension, preterm birth, and with induced or caesarean birth. 

By looking at 13 trials, involving more than 2,800 women, the researchers found that exercise reduced the risk of gestational diabetes by more than 30 per cent. However, if they were done throughout the pregnancy this reduction was even better (36 per cent).

This effect was strongest for women who combined toning, strength, flexibility and aerobic exercise.

Gema Sanabria- Martinez, from Virgen de la Luz Hospital and lead author of the study, said: "Exercise is not something to be feared during pregnancy - the moderate levels of exercise used in these studies had significantly positive effects on health and were found to be safe for both mother and baby."

Posted by Jeanette Royston

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

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