Despite the adorable rolls and cuddly chub, studies show that babies who are big at birth are at a higher risk of obesity later in life.
But a recent study found that there’s a relatively easy way for expectant mothers to keep their baby’s weight in check: daily, moderate exercise.
Expert aren’t exactly sure why it works, but there appears to be a link. Eighty-four women pregnant for the first time were assigned to one of two groups. One group exercised on an exercise bike for 40 minutes up to five times a week, the other group served as the control. The women exercised up until their 36th week of pregnancy.
When the women delivered, researchers discovered that the babies of the women who exercised were lighter (an average of 143 grams) and had a lower BMI than babies of the moms who did not workout regularly.
“Our findings show that regular aerobic exercise alters the maternal environment in some way that has an impact on nutrient stimulation of fetal growth, resulting in a reduction in offspring birth weight,” study co-author Dr. Paul Hofman said in a news release, reports HealthDay. “Given that large birth size is associated with an increased risk of obesity, a modest reduction in birth weight may have long-term health benefits for offspring by lowering this risk in later life.”
Interestingly, the exercise had no effect on the mother’s weight gain, BMI, or insulin resistance, but maintaining a regular workout during pregnancy — if approved by your doctor — is a great way to stay in good physical shape for labor.
Photo: Simona Balint, sxc.hu