Health starts in the womb and exercising is one of the best ways to give your baby a healthy start, also reducing your time spent in labour.
A new research conducted by the Technical University of Madrid and quoted by The Independent has discovered that it can also impact how long expectant mothers spend in labour.
The team of researchers, led by Professor Ruben Barakat, carried out a study with 508 healthy women by randomly assigning them into two groups.
253 women were put in the control group, while 255 women were placed in the exercise group.
Those in the exercise group were given a moderate aerobic exercise programme throughout their pregnancies, which they followed during three weekly sessions.
The researchers then analysed a number of factors while each woman gave birth, including the duration of each stage of labour, the mode of delivery, maternal weight gain, use of an epidural and the weight of the baby.
They came to the conclusion that the expectant mothers who were active in aerobic workouts during their pregnancies were more likely to spend less time in labour than the women who hadn't.
The women in the exercise group were also less likely to use an epidural during childbirth.
Furthermore, neonate macrosomia, which is when a newborn is significantly larger than average, was more prevalent among the mothers in the control group.
While exercising during pregnancy may help mothers restore their fitness after giving birth, getting back into shape after carrying a baby for nine months is far easier said than done.
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