How to prevent gestational diabetes, weight gain during pregnancy

How to prevent gestational diabetes, weight gain during pregnancy
Highlights

Mummies-to-be you needn\'t worry as a new research shows that working up a sweat during pregnancy can ward off gestational diabetes and weight gain.

Mummies-to-be you needn't worry as a new research shows that working up a sweat during pregnancy can ward off gestational diabetes and weight gain.


Gestational diabetes is one of the most frequent complications of pregnancy. It is associated with an increased risk of serious disorders such as pre-eclampsia, hypertension, preterm birth, and with induced or caesarean birth.

The research team from Spain looked at the results of enrolling healthy pregnant women, who did little or no exercise, into exercise programmes. Analysis of 13 trials, involving more than 2,800 women, found that exercise reduced the risk of gestational diabetes by more than 30 percent for women who exercised throughout pregnancy this was even greater (36percent).

This effect was strongest for women who combined toning, strength, flexibility and aerobic exercise.

Exercise was also helpful in reducing excessive weight gain, those who exercised were on average a kilogram lighter. This held true for the weight gain even if the exercise programme was started in the second trimester of pregnancy.

Lead author Gema Sanabria- Martinez, from Virgen de la Luz Hospital, said that 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.

Mike Marsh, BJOG Deputy Editor-in-chief added, that this careful analysis of previous studies shows a beneficial effect of exercise on healthy pregnant women who ordinarily did little or no exercise.

Marsh added that it may influence recommendations for exercise in pregnancy in such women. Further studies are needed to establish whether this effect is seen in all pregnant women.

The study is published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
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