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Regular Exercise During Pregnancy May Reduce the Need for Cesarean Deliveries

Update Date: Mar 05, 2013 01:21 PM EST

Regular exercise during pregnancy can reduce the rate of instrumental and cesarean deliveries in healthy pregnant women, according to a new study.

Spanish researchers at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid designed a physical exercise program to fit to the special features of gestation. The study revealed that pregnant women who regularly did the exercise program while supervised by experts were less likely to give instrumental or cesarean births compared to those women who didn't exercise during pregnancy.

The exercise group went to three sessions per week, with every session lasting about 50 to 55 minutes.  Researchers had women so various exercises to improve aerobic resistance, muscle tone and pelvic floor strength. All women had to first be medically approved before entering the study.

Researchers said that the women started the program just after the first prenatal care or 10 to 12 weeks of gestation.   The women remained in the exercise program during the while gestation period until the 38th or 39th week of pregnancy.

The findings revealed that the group who did regular and supervised exercise during pregnancy had a significantly lower rate of instrumental deliveries and cesarean than the control group who didn't do exercise.

Researchers hope that the latest findings will encourage pregnant women to be active during pregnancy to help improve the quality of life in future generations. Researchers explain that the pregnancy process and birth can determine the future health and quality of life of mothers and their babies. Researchers said that poor lifestyle factors during pregnancy like having a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, bad posture, excessive standing can disrupt the regular developmental course of the pregnancy-birth process.  These poor lifestyle factors consequently lead to a higher rate of instrumental and cesarean deliveries, which can put mothers and babies at risk.

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