The risk of preterm births may be less in women undergoing vigorous physical activity in the first trimester, according to a recent study.
Presently, adequate recommendations regarding pregnancy-related physical activity are not available in the United States. Scientists conducted research to determine the relation between duration of gestation and birth weight, and vigorous exercise.
AdvertisementAnne Marie Jukic and colleagues carried out a research study that was published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal, 2012.
The pregnant women were enrolled before 10 weeks of gestation; and at weeks 13 to 16, thefrequency, type and weekly vigorous activity was noted.
Activities such as recreational, household, occupational and adult or child care were taken into account.
The gestational age was examined in around 1,647 births. The researchers observed that vigorous recreational physical activity in the first trimester was related with long gestation period. They suggested that this vigorous physical activity could be associated with better placental growth.
In addition, physical activity did not affect birth weight of the newborns.
The scientist said, "Vigorous physical activity does not appear to be detrimental to the timing of birth or birth weight."
The researchers said that further future research is required to explore the other components of physical activity such as duration, intensity and frequency, and their association with birth outcomes. Thus, vigorous activity during pregnancy cannot be recommended before the establishment of specific guidelines in this regard.
Physical Activity in Pregnancy: Gestation and Birthweight; Anne Marie Jukic et al; Maternal and Child Health Journal 2012