Does Exercise in Pregnancy Decrease Risk of Gestational Diabetes?
This study by Wang et al. (AJOG, 2017) sought to determine if exercising during pregnancy decreased the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in overweight and pregnant women.
Randomized Clinical Trial (RCT)
300 women with singleton pregnancies were split into two groups, those who cycled three times a week for at least 30 minutes and the control group who continued their usual levels of activity. 26% of the women who exercised were obese, as were 25.3% of the women who were in the control group. Women who exercised had significantly lower rates of GDM than the control (22.0% vs. 40.6%). These women also had lower average weight gain (4.08 kg vs. 5.92 kg) and lower rates of hypertensive disorders (17.0% vs. 19.3%) during pregnancy. Exercising lowered the weight of the infants and lessened the risk of macrosomia. Exercising was also associated with lower rates of C-section (29.5% vs. 32.5%). Exercise did not increase the risk of preterm birth.
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