A new clinical trial published in the January 2012 edition of Obstetrics & Gynecology found that pregnant women who exercised regularly during the second half of their pregnancies did not lower their odds of developing gestational diabetes.
An estimated 14 % of pregnant women worldwide develop gestational diabetes which is high blood sugar that starts or is first diagnosed during pregnancy. Symptoms include blurred vision, fatigue and weight loss despite increased appetite. The condition typically goes away after childbirth, but it does raise the risk of problems in the baby when born due to increased blood sugar and can increase the chance of c-section delivery due to baby size.
Researchers in Norway conducted a study which included 855 women all between 18–22 weeks pregnant who had been assigned either a 12 week exercise program (intervention group) or the standard antenatal care (control group). Click through to read the results:
The exercise program assigned to the intervention group included the standard recommendations given to any pregnant woman; moderate-intensity to high-intensity activity 3 or more days per week. The researches compared their results to those of the control group when it came time to test for gestational diabetes using a “homeostasis model assessment method“.
At 32–36 weeks of gestation the researches concluded that there were no differences between groups in prevalence of gestational diabetes. There were no differences in insulin resistance between groups when adjusting for baseline values. What they did find that is also interesting though is only 55% of the women placed on the 12 week exercise program managed to follow the 12 week exercise recommendation.
The study concluded that there was no evidence that offering a 12 week exercise program beginning in the second half of the pregnancy prevents gestational diabetes in healthy pregnant women.
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