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Exercise during pregnancy can reduce gestational diabetes risk

A new study indicates that women who exercise while pregnant are roughly 30 per cent less likely to develop gestational diabetes.
Researchers at Virgen de la Luz hospital, Spain analysed 13 trials involving 2,873 women. Despite having taken little physical activity before pregnancy, the women were assigned to exercise programmes upon becoming pregnant.
The expectant mothers who undertook moderate exercise during pregnancy reduced their gestational diabetes risk by 30 per cent. This risk was found to be further reduced if exercise continued throughout pregnancy.
The researchers concluded that the earlier expectant mothers exercise, the more benefits they will gain, such as reduced maternal weight gain and improved health of their offspring.
They also reported that women who combined aerobic, toning, resistance, strength and flexibility exercises received greater benefits from the exercise programmes.
Lead author Gema Sanabria-Martinez, of Virgen de la Luz Hospital in Cuencan, concluded: “Exercise is not something to be feared during pregnancy – the moderate levels of exercise used in these studies had significantly positive effects on health and were found to be safe for both mother and baby.”
However, the Royal College of Midwives advise caution for expectant mothers not used to regular exercise, advocating they should begin with no more than 15 minutes of exercise three times a week.

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