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Vol. 23. Issue 2.
Pages 164-169 (01 March 2019)
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Vol. 23. Issue 2.
Pages 164-169 (01 March 2019)
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DOI: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2018.11.012
Impact of exercise during pregnancy on gestational weight gain and birth weight: an overview
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Marina Vargas-Terronesa,
Corresponding author
m.vargas.terrones@gmail.com

Corresponding author at: AFIPE Research Group, Faculty of Sciences for Physical Activity and Sport, INEF, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Martín Fierro 7, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
, Taniya S. Nagpalb, Ruben Barakata
a AFIPE Research Group, Faculty of Sciences for Physical Activity and Sport, INEF, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Madrid, Spain
b R. Samuel McLaughlin Foundation-Exercise and Pregnancy Laboratory, School of Kinesiology, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
Highlights

  • Exercise prevents factors that contribute to inadequate birth weight.

  • Maternal exercise prevents EGWG, GDM and obesity related complications.

  • Adequate birth weight reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.

  • Exercise interventions do not increase the risk of SGA infant.

  • Healthy pregnant women should exercise within the recommended guidelines.

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Abstract
Objective

This article presents the state of knowledge related to the impact of exercise on gestational weight gain and birth weight.

Transcendence of baby weight

Birth weight is an important indicator of intrauterine environment and maternal and newborn health. There are several factors that can affect birth weight including mother's pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index (BMI), gestational weight gain, Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM), chronic diabetes and gestational age at birth.

Impact of exercise during pregnancy

Physical exercise has the potential to prevent excessive gestational weight gain, GDM and the potential complications associated with obesity during pregnancy. Therefore, women who regularly exercise during pregnancy are more likely to have an appropriate gestational weight gain and in turn, an appropriate birth weight infant, preventing being LGA without increasing risk of SGA, and this reduces risk factors for later life chronic disease development in the child including cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.

Recommendations

It would be advisable to promote compliance with physical activity and exercise recommendations during pregnancy by using the specific resources to prescribe exercise to pregnant women without obstetric contraindications.

Keywords:
Exercise
Pregnancy
Gestational weight gain
Birth weight
Physical activity
Baby outcomes

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