Study says pregnant women who exercise give birth to healthy babies
According to the findings of the researchers of the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, mothers-to-be who exercise during their pregnancy term give birth to healthy babies, with their lungs and nervous system strengthened in the womb.
In addition, exercise during pregnancy also helps women reduce the chances of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or cot deaths. Researchers say that, if pregnant women remain physically active, the babies in their wombs not only have lower heart rates but also show improved breathing.
The study’s lead researcher, Dr Linda May, assistant professor of anatomy at Kansas City University, said since the reason behind SIDS is a weak nervous system; exercise in pregnancy serves as an "early intervention" for averting cot deaths.
Elaborating further, Linda May said: “We tested foetal breathing movement and the way the baby's nervous system was developing. When we compared babies whose mothers exercised with babies whose mothers had not exercised, we found wonderful differences. Foetal breathing movement and the nervous system were more mature in babies exposed to exercise.”
To arrive at the “exciting” results, the researchers observed 36 to 38 weeks pregnant women, in the age group of 20 to 35 years. The women were categorized as exercisers if they spent at least half-an-hour thrice a week on exercising – the most common ones being aerobics, power-walking, and cycling!