Does Running During Pregnancy Impact Perinatal Outcomes?
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:
Many women are running during pregnancy, but there is limited research on outcomes
Kuhrt et al. (BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, 2018) sought to determine the impact of running during pregnancy on gestational age at delivery and birth weight as indicators of cervical integrity and placental function, respectively
Retrospective cohort study
Participants: Women recruited from an international running organization
Women were categorized into the following groups
Those who continued to run during pregnancy
Those who did not
Those who continued were further stratified depending on weekly kilometers and trimester
Birthweight centiles were adjusting for maternal height, weight, ethnicity and parity, and for neonatal gender and gestational age at delivery
Small for gestation age: <the 3rd centile
Large for gestational age: >the 90th centile
Gestational age at delivery
Assisted vaginal delivery rate
1,293 women were involved in the study
45% of women did not run in pregnancy
15% stopped in the first trimester
25% stopped in the second trimester
16% ran into their third trimester
Gestational age at delivery, comparing women who stopped running vs those who continued
Not significant: 279.0 vs 279.6 days (P=0.55)
Birthweight centile, comparing women who stopped running vs those who continued
Not significant: 46.9% vs 44.9% (P=0.22)
Primary outcomes were not affected by mean weekly running distance and trimester
Assisted vaginal delivery rate was increased in women who ran
27% vs 22% (Odds Ratio 1.32; 95% CI 1.02 to 1.71; P=0.03)
No difference in preterm birth rate or proportion of babies below 3rd, 5th, 10th or 90th centile
Running during pregnancy does not appear to affect gestational age or birthweight centile
Assisted vaginal delivery rates were high in both groups (approximately 25%)
Authors suggest that perhaps increased pelvic floor muscle tone may be explain the increased risk of assisted vaginal delivery
The authors state “…women who want to continue running during pregnancy can be reassured by their obstetricians that it will not affect the birth weight of their baby significantly or increase the likelihood of a preterm delivery.”
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This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA. The planners of this activity do not recommend the use of any agent outside of the labeled indications.
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