A recent study states that physical exercise can motivate pregnant women to give-up and kick the butt. The report was carried in the open access journal BMC Public Health.
Smoking during pregnancy often leads to lower birth weight, higher infant mortality, and is linked to learning difficulties, problem behavior and asthma in childhood.
Michael Ussher and colleagues from St George's, University of London conducted two pilot studies into whether physical exercise could feasibly help pregnant women quit smoking.
The participants were also encouraged to do additional exercise on their own and all received advice and counseling towards stopping smoking and becoming more active.
A quarter of the 32 women recruited for the studies gave up smoking before giving birth.
According to Dr. Ussher, "These results are very encouraging and we are now conducting a randomized controlled trial with 850 women. Regular exercise is ideal for any pregnant women who smoke as it's obviously safe and the benefits are enormous".