Exercise Lowers Rate of Cesarean Deliveries in Healthy Pregnant Women

First Posted: Mar 06, 2013 02:21 AM EST

It is known that exercising throughout pregnancy really benefits women, as it improves the mother's stamina during delivery.  It is good for both the mother and the growing baby inside the womb. Despite the benefits exercise provides, many still fear it, feeling that it could harm the growing fetus.

But those women who are expecting a baby now have a strong reason to do some regular workouts. A latest finding suggests that during pregnancy, regular and supervised exercise by experts lowers the rate of cesarean and instrumental deliveries in healthy pregnant women.

Spanish researchers at the Faculty of Sciences for Physical Activity and Sport (INEF) of the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid adapted a physical exercise program that suits the special features of pregnancy

They had two groups, of which one group exercised regularly in the presence of an expert and a control group that never did any exercise. The pregnant women were put into a program after the first prenatal care i.e., 10-12 weeks of gestation. This program continued for the entire gestational period, until 38-39 weeks of pregnancy. The exercise period lasted for three sessions, where each session was for about 50-55 minutes.

Apart from the other parameters and types of delivery, the study provided for certain pregnancy outcomes that included baby and maternal variables. For example, they considered how much weight the mother had gained, blood pressure, gestational age at delivery etc., while in the baby they considered the birth weight and health status.

The researchers noticed that those women who exercised regularly had a lower rate of instrumental birth or cesarean section when compared to women who didn't exercise at all.

The findings highlight the importance of exercise and the importance of pregnant women to remain active during gestation.

Inadequate lifestyle is one of the factors that increases the rate of instrumental or cesarean deliveries among women. Factors like inactive lifestyle, poor health, and excessive bipedalism increases the risk for both the mother and her baby.

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