Exercise during pregnancy curtails the risk of preterm birth

A study at Thomas Jefferson University suggests that women who exercise during pregnancy increase the chances to deliver vaginally than those who do not and are at no greater risk of preterm birth.

One of the senior authors on the study and  Professor at Thomas Jefferson University, Vincenzo Berghella found that exercise releases norepinephrine in the body, a chemical that can cause contractions of the uterus leading to preterm birth and does not harm the baby and can have benefits for both the mom and baby.

The researchers concluded that exercise is safe and does not increase the risk of preterm birth and in addition, women who exercised were less likely to have a C-section than those who did not.

Moderate exercise lowers gestational diabetes and reduces weight gain 

Gestational diabetes can be a thing of the past for women who exercise during pregnancy and what more, the exercise also helps to reduce maternal weight gain, according to the research at the Virgen de la Luz Hospital. 

Gestational diabetes is considered to be the most frequent complications of pregnancy and the aftermath effects include disorders such as pre-eclampsia, hypertension, preterm birth, and with induced or caesarean birth. It is also believed that the children of mothers with gestational diabetes are more likely to become overweight or obese and have a higher risk of developing diabetes themselves.

Gema Sanabria- Martinez from Virgen de la Luz Hospital and lead author of the study believes that exercise is not something to be feared during pregnancy and the moderate levels of exercise had significantly positive effects on health and were found to be safe for both mother and baby. 

Exercise during pregnancy benefits babies too

Researchers from the University of Adelaide found that healthy eating and increased physical activity from walking during pregnancy helps in a  range of improved outcomes at birth. This is in line with a previous study that reported a significant reduction in the number of babies born over 4kg to women who received the diet and lifestyle advice during pregnancy.

Exercise during pregnancy can control the aging factor in offspring

Exercise during pregnancy is equally effective in protecting the next generation from age-related health risks and the same can be said in the efforts made during the offspring's own adulthood, as per the University of Kentucky study.

Kevin Pearson, associate professor at the University of Kentucky Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences concluded that the findings highlight pregnancy as a sensitive period when positive lifestyle interventions could have significant and long-lasting beneficial effects on offspring metabolism and disease risk. Researchers predict that short-term lifestyle changes during pregnancy may have a long-lasting effect on future generations.

Exercise during pregnancy boosts brain development in the newborn child

Exercise, even in small durations, can be effective not only to the mother-to-be but for the newborn child too.

According to researchers at the University of Montreal, physical activity or moderate exercise for at least 20 minutes and three times per week during pregnancy enhances the newborn child's brain development. The research may mean a good head-start and will have an impact on the child's entire life.

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