Study examines the effects of physical activity during pregnancy

May 10, 2018, Wiley
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In a recent Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica study, a combined lifestyle intervention including dietary counseling and twice-weekly exercise classes during pregnancy resulted in a slightly longer first stage of labor, without any other effects during labor or delivery. Women reporting to have high physical activity level (>35 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity/day) in late pregnancy had a reduced risk of having an acute cesarean section compared with those with the lowest physical activity level.

The Norwegian Fit for Delivery study included 303 who participated in dietary counseling and twice-weekly exercise classes and 303 who received standard care.

"The association between physical activity level and mode of delivery might help motivate more women to engage in before and during pregnancy, which in turn will give additional health benefits for the women and their babies," said lead author Dr. Birgitte Sanda, of the University of Agder, in Norway.

Explore further: Get fit to cut your diabetes risk during pregnancy

More information: Birgitte Sanda et al, What is the effect of physical activity on duration and mode of delivery? Secondary analysis from the Norwegian Fit for Delivery trial, Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica (2018). DOI: 10.1111/aogs.13351

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