Changing exercise levels between 15 and 20 weeks’ gestation could be critical for neonatal adiposity

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  • Risk of having a neonate with adiposity >90th centile is almost 66% higher in pregnant women who decrease their exercise levels at 15-20 weeks of gestation vs those who do not change.
  • Risk almost doubles on comparing women who decrease vs those who increase their exercise levels.

Why this matters

  • Study endorses previous reports which states that women who cut back exercise at late pregnancy have heavier and longer babies.
  • The authors, however, call for objectively measured estimates of exercise levels to replicate their findings.

Key results

  • Chances of giving birth to a neonate with adiposity >90th centile were higher in women who decreased exercise level between 15 and 20 weeks’ gestation vs those who did not (aOR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.09-2.54).
  • Chances were doubled on comparing women who decreased vs those who increased exercise level (aOR, 2.09; 95% CI, 1.20%-3.61%).
  • No association was observed for change in exercise levels at 15 weeks’ gestation.

Study design

  • Secondary analysis of 1200 mother-infant pairs.
  • Neonatal adiposity assessed by using air displacement plethysmography.
  • Exercise data collected by interviewing women at 15 and 20 weeks.
  • Funding: None disclosed.


  • Self-reported evaluation of exercise level.
  • Data for pre-pregnancy exercise unavailable.