- Low-risk women who reported vigorous exercise during the third trimester have lower risks for preterm delivery.
Why this matters
- During vigorous exercise, decrease in the utero-placental blood flow may occur, possibly putting the fetus at risk for fetal bradycardia and small for gestational age (SGA).
- Moderate exercise on most days is recommended during pregnancy.
- However, guidelines for vigorous exercise and trimester-specific guidelines do not currently exist.
- These results can be used to reassure women that exercise throughout pregnancy is safe.
- No difference in birth weight between women with vigorous exercise and controls (P=.79).
- Women with vigorous exercise delivered at a later gestational age (P<.001>
- No difference in maternal weight gain (P=.5).
- No increased risk for perinatal adverse events.
- Systematic review and meta-analysis.
- 10 cohort studies (n=32,080 participants) and 5 randomised control trials (n=623 participants) included in systematic review, 13 studies included in the meta-analysis.
- Low-risk women who reported vigorous or high-intensity exercise during the third trimester of pregnancy were included and compared with controls.
- Incidence of SGA, preterm birth, and gestational age of delivery were extracted.
- Funding: Faculty of Health Sciences at Australian Catholic University.
- The definition of vigorous activity varied between studies.