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Exercise during pregnancy may lower risk of excessive birthweight.

Owe K, Nystad W, Bo K. Association between regular exercise and excessive newborn birth weight. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2009; 114(4): 770-6.

Regular exercise during pregnancy may lower the risk for excessive birthweight by 23% to 28%, according to the results of a study. Fetal macrosomia, often defined as birthweight above 4000g or 4500g regardless of gestational length, is associated with both maternal and perinatal complications. Both mean birthweight and the proportion of newborns weighing more than 4000g and 4500g have increased during the past decades. Regular exercise is recognised as an important component of a healthy pregnancy, but studies show a decreasing trend in it. Despite extensive literature on the relationship between regular exercise during pregnancy and mean birthweight, the results are ambiguous. To estimate the association of regular exercise, performed before and during pregnancy, with excessive newborn birthweight in a prospective cohort of pregnant women, researchers analysed data from 36 869 singleton pregnancies among participants in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. Two questionnaires administered during pregnancy weeks 17 and 30 provided data on regular exercise, and linkage to the Medical Birth Registry of Norway provided information regarding newborn birthweight. Excessive newborn birthweight--at or above the 90th percentile--was observed in 4033 (10.9%) newborns, 56.1% of whom were born to multiparous women. An inverse association between regular exercise (at least three times per week) and excessive newborn birthweight in pregnancy weeks 17 and 30 was observed in nulliparous women. The authors conclude that regular exercise during pregnancy may have a protective effect against excessive newborn birthweight.
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Title Annotation:CLINICAL PAPERS
Publication:Community Practitioner
Article Type:Abstract
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 1, 2009
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