Sport during pregnancy is good for the baby! - The360 Healthy

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  • Thursday, November 28, 2019

    Sport during pregnancy is good for the baby!

    Sport during pregnancy is good for the baby!

    A team of American researchers decided to examine whether exercise during pregnancy could influence the physical coordination of a baby after birth. The results indicate accelerated motor development in newborns whose mothers are more active.


    Newborns whose mothers exercise during pregnancy can become physically coordinated a little earlier than other babies, according to a new study. These findings add to the growing evidence that physical activity during pregnancy can strengthen not only the mother, but her unborn child.

    Indeed, according to most estimates, barely a third of Western youth practice one hour of physical activity per day. Complicated schedules, lack of sports at school, childhood obesity, screens ... many factors are involved. But Linda May, a researcher at East Carolina University in the United States, wondered if the prenatal environment could not play a role as well. His own previous research suggested that the idea was plausible.

    For her new study, published by the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the scientist recruited 71 pregnant and healthy women, during their first trimester. The first half of the group continued their normal routine, while the second half practiced 50 minutes of moderate effort (cycling, running, brisk walking, or aerobic), three times a week at the university laboratory.

    More active girls

    One month after delivery, a physiotherapist performed a routine exam to check babies' reflexes and motor skills. As a result, babies whose mothers had exercised tended to score better on almost all tests, suggesting that their motor skills were more advanced. The difference was particularly noticeable among girls, who usually lag behind boys at this age.

    The infant girls in the exercise group had the same relatively advanced physical abilities as the boys in the same group, and more coordination than the boys in the control group. This accelerated motor development "could encourage these children", in the months and years to come, to be more active than young people whose coordination is less advanced, said Linda May, quoted by the New York Times.

    Some factors, such as family life, play with the newborn, and how brain development was influenced by exercise, could not be taken into account in this study. The team plans to explore these issues further in the context of new work. But for now, the results suggest that if a pregnant woman can exercise, the benefits are doubly interesting!

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