Physical Activity During Pregnancy – Effects on Fetal and Newborn Health and Future Maternal Well Being
Main Article Content
Physical activity (PA) is known to improve quality of life during pregnancy and prevent complications, associated with several chronic conditions. In this review, following a succinct summary of relevant physiological aspects of gestation and effort, we summarize recent literature on the effect of PA on fetal condition and newborn outcome as well as on future maternal well-being. Many women become aware of their health issues as they plan pregnancy or become pregnant turning the period of pregnancy into a window of opportunity to establish healthier routines of life for the future. It was found that physical activity leads to less weight gain during pregnancy, as well as lower weight retention. Active women experience improved course of labor as well as lower rates of post-partum depression. As the main concern of the pregnant woman is her future baby's condition, information regarding this is crucial for those practitioners wishing to help women establish new habits, the center of which is regularly scheduled physical activity. It was shown that newborns to active women are less likely to be either macrosomic or small for gestational age. Children of women who kept physically active during pregnancy had less autistic spectrum disorders and better brain growth, as well as less sleeping disorders.
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