Reseach Updates Summer 2013 & 2011


Abstracts of Recent Research on Pregnancy Exercise

Summer 2013

J Phys Act Health. 2013 May 10. [Epub ahead of print]

Exercise Throughout Pregnancy Does Not Cause Preterm Delivery. A Randomized, Controlled Trial.

Barakat R, Pelaez M, Mon­te­jo R, Refoyo I, Coteron J.

Source Social Sci­ences of Phys­i­cal Activ­i­ty and Sports, Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty of Madrid, Spain.


BACKGROUND: In spite of an exten­sive knowl­edge of the phys­i­o­log­ic fea­tures of exer­cise dur­ing preg­nan­cy, we still lack a com­pre­hen­sive under­stand­ing of the effects of dif­fer­ent types, inten­si­ties and dura­tion of exer­cise through­out preg­nan­cy on mater­nal and fetal well being. The aim of the present study was to exam­ine the influ­ence of an aer­o­bic exer­cise pro­gram through­out preg­nan­cy on ges­ta­tion­al age at the moment of deliv­ery.

METHODS: This study was a ran­dom­ized con­trolled tri­al. Three hun­dred and twen­ty Cau­casian (Span­ish) healthy preg­nant women with sin­gle­ton ges­ta­tion were ran­dom­ly assigned to either an exer­cise (n=160) or a con­trol (n=16 0) group. Ges­ta­tion­al age (weeks) and oth­er out­comes were mea­sured. The exer­cise pro­gram includ­ed 85 ses­sions (gen­er­al fit­ness class, three times/week, 55–60 min/session from weeks 8–10 to weeks 38–39 of preg­nan­cy) .

RESULTS: Two hun­dred and nine­ty women were ana­lyzed (exer­cise group EG, n=138, con­trol group CG, n=152). The mean ges­ta­tion­al age did not dif­fer between groups (EG= 39.7± 1.3 vs CG= 39.6±1.1 weeks, p=0.81). Rel­a­tive to preterm deliv­er­ies in EG we found 6 (4.3%) and 11 (7.2 %) in CG, (p=0.73).

CONCLUSIONS: A super­vised pro­gram of mod­er­ate exer­cise per­formed through­out preg­nan­cy is not a risk of preterm deliv­ery for heal thy preg­nant women.


J Nutr Metab. 2013;2013:285948. doi: 10.1155/2013/285948. Epub 2013 Apr 9.

Potential mechanisms of exercise in gestational diabetes.

Gol­bi­di S, Laher I.

Source Depart­ment of Phar­ma­col­o­gy and Ther­a­peu­tics, Fac­ul­ty of Med­i­cine, Uni­ver­si­ty of British Colum­bia, Van­cou­ver, BC, Cana­da V6T 1Z3.

Abstract Ges­ta­tion­al dia­betes mel­li­tus (GDM) is defined as glu­cose intol­er­ance first diag­nosed dur­ing preg­nan­cy. This con­di­tion shares same array of under­ly­ing abnor­mal­i­ties as occurs in dia­betes out­side of preg­nan­cy, for exam­ple, genet­ic and envi­ron­men­tal caus­es. How­ev­er, the role of a seden­tary lifestyle and/or excess ener­gy intake is more promi­nent in GDM. Phys­i­cal­ly active women are less like­ly to devel­op GDM and oth­er preg­nan­cy-relat­ed dis­eases. Weight gain in preg­nan­cy caus­es increased release of adipokines from adi­pose tis­sue; many adipokines increase oxida­tive stress and insulin resis­tance. Increased intramy­ocel­lu­lar lipids also increase cel­lu­lar oxida­tive stress with sub­se­quent gen­er­a­tion of reac­tive oxy­gen species. A well-planned pro­gram of exer­cise is an impor­tant com­po­nent of a healthy lifestyle and, in spite of old myths, is also rec­om­mend­ed dur­ing preg­nan­cy. This paper briefly reviews the role of adipokines in ges­ta­tion­al dia­betes and attempts to shed some light on the mech­a­nisms by which exer­cise can be ben­e­fi­cial as an adju­vant ther­a­py in GDM. In this regard, we dis­cuss the mech­a­nisms by which exer­cise increas­es insulin sen­si­tiv­i­ty, changes adipokine pro­file lev­els, and boosts antiox­i­dant mech­a­nisms.


Ethiop J Health Sci. 2013 Mar;23(1):59–64.

Effect of aerobic exercise training on maternal weight gain in pregnancy: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Lam­i­na S, Agbanusi E.

Source Bio­med­ical Tech­nol­o­gy Depart­ment, School of Health Tech­nol­o­gy, Fed­er­al Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy, Ower­ri, Imo State, Nige­ria. siklam_86@


BACKGROUND: Weight gains in preg­nan­cy with­in the rec­om­mend­ed guide­lines are asso­ci­at­ed with healthy fetal and mater­nal out­comes; high­er weight gains are asso­ci­at­ed with fetal macro­so­mia. This study was a sys­temic review of ran­dom­ized con­trolled tri­als on the effect of aer­o­bic train­ing on mater­nal weight in preg­nan­cy.

METHODS: The study data source was pub­li­ca­tions through May 2012 in the MEDLINE (PubMed) data­base. The cita­tion lists of ran­dom­ized con­trolled tri­als on the effect of aer­o­bic train­ing and mater­nal weight were extract­ed. Data on par­tic­i­pants’ char­ac­ter­is­tics, study qual­i­ty, pop­u­la­tion, inter­ven­tion, treat­ment out­come (mater­nal weight gain) were col­lect­ed and ana­lyzed.

RESULTS: There were 11 ran­dom­ized con­trolled stud­ies using body weight (kg) as mea­sure of treat­ment out­come. A total of 1177 sub­jects were recruit­ed in the 11 stud­ies. The mean± SD weight gain (kg) for the exer­cise (11.31± 7.44kg) and con­trol (14.42± 6.60kg) groups; Meta-analy­sis result indi­cat­ed sig­nif­i­cant effect of aer­o­bic train­ing on mater­nal weight (t= -7.580, p= .000) at p< 0.05.

CONCLUSION: It was con­clud­ed that aer­o­bic train­ing is an effec­tive tool in mater­nal weight gain con­trol in preg­nan­cy. More ran­dom­ized con­trolled tri­als are war­rant­ed.




BJOG. 2013 Mar 26. doi: 10.1111/1471–0528.12191. [Epub ahead of print]

Risk of cardiovascular disease after pre-eclampsia and the effect of lifestyle interventions: a literature-based study.

Berks D, Hoed­jes M, Raat H, Duvekot J, Steegers E, Habbe­ma J.

Source Divi­sion of Obstet­rics and Pre­na­tal Med­i­cine, Depart­ment of Obstet­rics and Gynae­col­o­gy, Eras­mus MC, Rot­ter­dam, the Nether­lands.


OBJECTIVE: This study address­es the fol­low­ing ques­tions. Do car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk fac­tors ful­ly explain the odds ratio of car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk after pre-eclamp­sia? What is the effect of lifestyle inter­ven­tions (exer­cise, diet, and smok­ing ces­sa­tion) after pre-eclamp­sia on the risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease?

DESIGN: Lit­er­a­ture-based study.

METHODS: Data for the cal­cu­la­tions were tak­en from stud­ies iden­ti­fied by PubMed search­es. First, the dif­fer­ences in car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk fac­tors after pre-eclamp­sia com­pared with an uncom­pli­cat­ed preg­nan­cy were esti­mat­ed. Sec­ond, the effects of lifestyle inter­ven­tions on car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk were esti­mat­ed. Val­i­dat­ed risk pre­dic­tion mod­els were used to trans­late these results into car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk.

RESULTS: After cor­rec­tion for known car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk fac­tors, the odds ratios of pre-eclamp­sia for ischaemic heart dis­ease and for stroke are 1.89 (IQR 1.76–1.98) and 1.55 (IQR 1.40–1.71), respec­tive­ly. After pre-eclamp­sia, lifestyle inter­ven­tions on exer­cise, dietary habits, and smok­ing ces­sa­tion decrease car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk, with an odds ratio of 0.91 (IQR 0.87–0.96).


Car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk fac­tors do not ful­ly explain the risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease after pre-eclamp­sia. The gap between esti­mat­ed and observed odds ratios may be explained by an addi­tive risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease by pre-eclamp­sia. Fur­ther­more, lifestyle inter­ven­tions after pre-eclamp­sia seem to be effec­tive in decreas­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk. Future research is need­ed to over­come the numer­ous assump­tions we had to make in our cal­cu­la­tions.


J Psy­cho­som Obstet Gynaecol. 2013 May 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Influence of a single physical exercise class on mood states of pregnant women.

Guszkows­ka M, Lang­wald M, Dudzi­ak D, Zarem­ba A.

Abstract The aim of the research was to define the influ­ence of a sin­gle phys­i­cal exer­cise class on mood states of preg­nant women and to estab­lish the socio-demo­graph­ic and per­son­al­i­ty pre­dic­tors of mood changes. The sam­ple was com­prised of a total of 109 preg­nant women aged 19–37 years. Of the group, 62 women par­tic­i­pat­ed in phys­i­cal exer­cise for preg­nant women (the exper­i­men­tal group) and 47 women par­tic­i­pat­ed in tra­di­tion­al child­birth edu­ca­tion class­es (the con­trol group). Emo­tion­al states were assessed with the UWIST Mood Adjec­tive Check­list; per­son­al­i­ty traits were mea­sured with the NEO-FFI, LOT-R and STAI ques­tion­naires. Socio-demo­graph­ic data were col­lect­ed with a sur­vey devel­oped by the authors. A sin­gle phys­i­cal exer­cise class improved the emo­tion­al state of preg­nant women sig­nif­i­cant­ly more than a tra­di­tion­al child­birth edu­ca­tion class. With­in the exper­i­men­tal group, a sig­nif­i­cant improve­ment of mood was observed in all dimen­sions, while in the con­trol group only hedo­nic tone increased. Greater improve­ments in mood can be expect­ed in a group of women who are younger, less opti­mistic, and who eval­u­ate their health bet­ter but phys­i­cal fit­ness worse. As a sin­gle ses­sion of exer­cise helps improve the mood of preg­nant women, this may be an effec­tive strat­e­gy to pre­vent the dete­ri­o­ra­tion of mood state dur­ing preg­nan­cy.


Nurs Health Sci. 2013 May 13. doi: 10.1111/nhs.12057. [Epub ahead of print]

American rural women’s exercise self-efficacy and awareness of exercise benefits and safety during pregnancy.

Melton B, Mar­shall E, Bland H, Schmidt M, Guion WK.

Source Depart­ment of Health & Kine­si­ol­o­gy, Geor­gia South­ern Uni­ver­si­ty.

Abstract Though the pos­i­tive link between phys­i­cal activ­i­ty and mater­nal health is well doc­u­ment­ed, phys­i­cal activ­i­ty declines dur­ing preg­nan­cy and, inter­na­tion­al­ly, rur­al moth­ers are less like­ly than urban moth­ers to engage in phys­i­cal activ­i­ty. Some evi­dence sug­gests that self-effi­ca­cy is relat­ed to sus­tained engage­ment in phys­i­cal activ­i­ty. The pur­pose of this study was to exam­ine self-effi­ca­cy, per­ceived ben­e­fits, and knowl­edge of safe exer­cise among 88 rur­al preg­nant women in a south­east­ern region of the Unit­ed States. Exer­cise self-effi­ca­cy was sig­nif­i­cant­ly relat­ed to mater­nal age and ges­ta­tion. Women over age 26 years, and those in the sec­ond and third trimesters, scored sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er than younger women or those in the first trimester. Fifty-two per­cent (n = 46) of par­tic­i­pants per­ceived that activ­i­ty would decrease ener­gy lev­els, 37.5% (n = 33) did not know that exer­cise can decrease the risk of ges­ta­tion­al dia­betes, and 47.6% (n = 41) were unaware that a moth­er who is over­weight is more like­ly to have an over­weight child. Results con­firm a need for edu­ca­tion to improve women’s knowl­edge about health ben­e­fits and safe­ty infor­ma­tion relat­ed to phys­i­cal activ­i­ty dur­ing preg­nan­cy.

© 2013 Wiley Pub­lish­ing Asia Pty Ltd.



J Matern Fetal Neona­tal Med. 2012 Nov;25(11):2372–6. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2012.696165. Epub 2012 Jun 22.

Exercise during pregnancy reduces the rate of cesarean and instrumental deliveries: results of a randomized controlled trial.

Barakat R, Pelaez M, Lopez C, Mon­te­jo R, Coteron J.

Source Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty of Madrid (UPM), Madrid, Spain.


OBJECTIVE: In this study, the authors assessed the effects of a struc­tured, mod­er­ate-inten­si­ty exer­cise pro­gram dur­ing the entire length of preg­nan­cy on a woman’s method of deliv­ery.

METHODS: A ran­dom­ized con­trolled tri­al was con­duct­ed with 290 healthy preg­nant Cau­casian (Span­ish) women with a sin­gle­ton ges­ta­tion who were ran­dom­ly assigned to either an exer­cise (n = 138) or a con­trol (n = 152) group. Preg­nan­cy out­comes, includ­ing the type of deliv­ery, were mea­sured at the end of the preg­nan­cy.

RESULTS: The per­cent­age of cesare­an and instru­men­tal deliv­er­ies in the exer­cise group were low­er than in the con­trol group (15.9%, n = 22; 11.6%, n = 16 vs. 23%, n = 35; 19.1%, n = 29, respec­tive­ly; p = 0.03). The over­all health sta­tus of the new­born as well as oth­er preg­nan­cy out­comes was unaf­fect­ed.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on these results, a super­vised pro­gram of mod­er­ate-inten­si­ty exer­cise per­formed through­out preg­nan­cy was asso­ci­at­ed with a reduc­tion in the rate of cesare­an, instru­men­tal deliv­er­ies and can be rec­om­mend­ed for healthy women in preg­nan­cy.


Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Dec;44(12):2263–9. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318267ad67.

Exercise in pregnancy: effect on fitness and obstetric outcomes-a randomized trial.

Price BB, Ami­ni SB, Kap­pel­er K.

Source Pro­fes­sion­al Asso­ci­a­tion, Austin, TX, USA.


OBJECTIVE: A prospec­tive ran­dom­ized con­trolled tri­al was designed to assess the ben­e­fits and pos­si­ble risks of aer­o­bic exer­cise dur­ing preg­nan­cy, using a fit­ness reg­i­men based on the 2002 Amer­i­can Col­lege of Obste­tri­cians and Gyne­col­o­gists guide­lines for exer­cise dur­ing preg­nan­cy.

METHODS: Inac­tive women were ran­dom­ized at 12–14 wk ges­ta­tion to a group that remained seden­tary or to a group that per­formed mod­er­ate aer­o­bic exer­cise 45–60 min, 4 d·wk, through 36 wk ges­ta­tion. Thir­ty-one sub­jects in each group com­plet­ed the study.

RESULTS: Com­pared with women who remained seden­tary, active women improved aer­o­bic fit­ness (P < 0.05) and mus­cu­lar strength (P < 0.01), deliv­ered com­pa­ra­ble size infants with sig­nif­i­cant­ly few­er cesare­an deliv­er­ies (P < 0.01), and recov­ered faster post­par­tum (P < 0.05), at least relat­ed to the low­er inci­dence of cesare­an sec­tion. Active women devel­oped no ges­ta­tion­al hyper­ten­sion (P = 0.16 com­pared with con­trols) and report­ed no injuries relat­ed to the exer­cise reg­i­men. In the active group, there was one pre­ma­ture birth at 33 wk by a woman with a his­to­ry of pre­ma­ture deliv­ery of twins at 34 wk. There were no dif­fer­ences between groups in the inci­dence of ges­ta­tion­al dia­betes, mus­cu­loskele­tal pains dur­ing preg­nan­cy, flex­i­bil­i­ty on sit-and-reach test, mean length of preg­nan­cy, neona­tal Apgar scores, pla­cen­ta weights, over­all length of labor, weight gain dur­ing preg­nan­cy, or weight reten­tion post­par­tum.

CONCLUSION: Pre­vi­ous­ly seden­tary women who began exer­cis­ing at 12–14 wk improved fit­ness and deliv­ery out­comes.


Summer 2011

Physical activity before and during pregnancy and risk of gestational diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis.Tobia DK, Zhang C, van Dam RM, Bowers K, Hu FB. Diabetes Care. 2010 Sep 27.

The researchers con­clud­ed that high­er lev­els of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty pri­or to preg­nan­cy or in ear­ly preg­nan­cy are asso­ci­at­ed with a sig­nif­i­cant­ly low­er risk of devel­op­ing GDM. The study search iden­ti­fied 7 pre-preg­nan­cy and 5 ear­ly preg­nan­cy stud­ies, includ­ing 5 prospec­tive cohorts, 2 ret­ro­spec­tive case-con­trols, and 2 cross-sec­tion­al study designs. Pre-preg­nan­cy phys­i­cal activ­i­ty was assessed in 34,929 total par­tic­i­pants includ­ing 2,813 GDM cas­es, giv­ing a pooled odds ratio of 0.45 (95% CI: 0.28–0.75) when com­par­ing the high­est vs. low­est cat­e­gories. Exer­cise in ear­ly preg­nan­cy was assessed in 4,401 total par­tic­i­pants includ­ing 361 GDM cas­es, and was also sig­nif­i­cant­ly pro­tec­tive (OR=0.76, 95%CI: 0.70, 0.83).

Aerobic exercise during pregnancy improves health-related quality of life: a randomised trial. Montoya Arizabaleta AV et al. J Physiother. 2010;56(4):253–8.

The researchers con­clud­ed that a super­vised 3-month pro­gram of pri­mar­i­ly aer­o­bic exer­cise dur­ing preg­nan­cy improves health-relat­ed qual­i­ty of life. The exper­i­men­tal group had improved their health-relat­ed qual­i­ty of life more than the con­trol group in the phys­i­cal com­po­nent sum­ma­ry of the ques­tion­naire by 6 points, the phys­i­cal func­tion domain by 7 points, the bod­i­ly pain domain by 7 points and the gen­er­al health domain by 5 points.

The exper­i­men­tal group com­plet­ed a 3-month super­vised exer­cise pro­gram, com­menc­ing at 16 to 20 weeks of ges­ta­tion. Each ses­sion includ­ed walk­ing (10 min), aer­o­bic exer­cise (30 min), stretch­ing (10 min), and relax­ation (10 min). The con­trol group con­tin­ued usu­al activ­i­ties and per­formed no spe­cif­ic exer­cise.  The pri­ma­ry out­come was health-relat­ed qual­i­ty of life assessed by the Colom­bian ver­sion of the Med­ical Out­come Study Short-Form Health Sur­vey at base­line and imme­di­ate­ly after the 3-month inter­ven­tion.

Effects of Yoga:

For more than 30 years, DTP has includ­ed exer­cise com­po­nents that are ele­ments of yoga (cen­ter­ing, deep breath­ing, mindfulness/transcendence, iso­met­rics and relax­ation), because these are mea­sur­able, effec­tive com­po­nents with­in a total fit­ness pack­age.  Car­dio­vas­cu­lar con­di­tion­ing is our cen­ter­piece — along with spe­cif­ic strength work — since these pro­duce most of the ben­e­fits of pre­na­tal fit­ness. Due to the grow­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty of pre­na­tal yoga at the expense of car­dio­vas­cu­lar con­di­tion­ing and strength train­ing, we have been seek­ing cred­i­ble research evi­dence about yoga’s effect on preg­nan­cy, birth and recov­ery.

Despite the length of time it has been avail­able, there is lit­tle data to estab­lish yoga’s effi­ca­cy beyond reduc­ing some dis­com­forts and per­haps improv­ing body trust, often through the use of posi­tions, breath­ing skills and mind­ful­ness that are also com­mon child­birth prepa­ra­tion and com­fort mea­sures. The relax­ation ele­ment — achiev­able through any stan­dard alpha brain wave pro­duc­ing method — can help pro­mote pro­mote progress in ear­ly labor, as the Relax­ation Response (per Ben­son) is known to help the body release oxy­tocin in ear­ly labor (per Odent). How­ev­er, the only study of the cor­re­la­tion among labor onset, yoga and the length of the first stage was very small. It was per­formed in Thai­land and we can­not find any record of exact­ly what was per­formed dur­ing the six ses­sions over the course of preg­nan­cy.

Yoga during pregnancy: effects on maternal comfort, labor pain and birth outcomes. Chuntharapat S, et al. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2008 May;14(2):105–15. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

This study exam­ined the effects of a yoga pro­gram on mater­nal com­fort, labor pain, and birth out­comes. 74-prim­i­gravid Thai women were ran­dom­ized. The yoga pro­gram involved six, 1-h ses­sions at pre­scribed weeks of ges­ta­tion. A vari­ety of instru­ments were used to assess mater­nal com­fort, labor pain and birth out­comes. The exper­i­men­tal group was found to have a short­er dura­tion of the first stage of labor. No dif­fer­ences were found, between the groups, regard­ing pethi­dine usage, labor aug­men­ta­tion or new­born Apgar scores at 1 and 5 min.

We also found a small, non-ran­dom­ized study that indi­cat­ed chron­ic prac­tice of yoga pro­duces sim­i­lar affects.

Effects of a prenatal yoga programme on the discomforts of pregnancy and maternal childbirth self-efficacy in Taiwan. Sun YC, et al. Midwifery. 2010 Dec;26(6):e31-6. Epub 2009 Feb 25.

This non-ran­dom­ized study aimed to pro­vide yoga to prim­i­gravi­das in the third trimester of preg­nan­cy to decrease dis­com­forts asso­ci­at­ed with preg­nan­cy and increase child­birth self-effi­ca­cy. Low risk, seden­tary prim­i­gravi­das were tar­get­ed. The pro­gram was 12–14 weeks, with at least three ses­sions per week. Each work­out last­ed for 30 min­utes. Pro­gram par­tic­i­pants report­ed sig­nif­i­cant­ly few­er preg­nan­cy dis­com­forts than the con­trol group (38.28 vs 43.26, z=-2.58, p=0.01) at 38–40 weeks of ges­ta­tion and exhib­it­ed high­er out­come and self-effi­ca­cy expectan­cies dur­ing the active stage of labour (104.13 vs 83.53, t=3.24, p=0.002; 99.26 vs 77.70, t=3.99, p ? 0.001) and the sec­ond stage of labour (113.33 vs 88.42, t=3.33, p=0.002; 102.19 vs 79.40, t=3.71, p ? 0.001) com­pared with the con­trol group. Inter­est­ing­ly, the researchers con­clud­ed that the pro­vi­sion of book­lets and videos on yoga dur­ing preg­nan­cy may con­tribute to a reduc­tion in preg­nan­cy dis­com­forts and improved child­birth self-effi­ca­cy.

Efficacy of yoga on pregnancy outcome. Narendran S, et al.  J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Apr;11(2):237–44.

The only matched-con­trol study we have seen that reports any ben­e­fi­cial out­comes for yoga par­tic­i­pants vs. con­trols was a small study con­duct­ed in India. Women par­tic­i­pat­ed dai­ly in super­vised 1-hour ses­sions, while con­trols walked. The dai­ly yoga par­tic­i­pants’ out­comes were improved com­pared with con­trols, includ­ing a reduc­tion in IUGR, in con­junc­tion with infec­tion and PIH. It is impor­tant to keep in mind that these out­comes occurred in a set­ting where under-weight, over-work and infec­tion-relat­ed com­pli­ca­tions are com­mon.

It is inter­est­ing to note that aer­o­bic fit­ness pro­vides the same ben­e­fits as those seen in these stud­ies, while also reduc­ing the need for aug­men­ta­tion or oth­er inter­ven­tions, as well as reduc­ing the risk of fetal dis­tress.

Dur­ing the sec­ond stage of labor, the tran­si­tion to an ergotrop­ic reflex pro­motes the release of oxy­tocin as the body changes from a parasym­pa­thet­ic state in the first stage to a sym­pa­thet­ic state in the sec­ond stage (that is why we call the end of the first stage tran­si­tion). The phys­i­ol­o­gy of push­ing requires a very aggres­sive approach. Our in-house data sug­gest that we have found a bal­ance for help­ing women devel­op the nec­es­sary traits to accom­plish both the pas­sive state required by the first stage and the endurance capac­i­ty to become aggres­sive dur­ing expul­sion. We mea­sure this in the reduc­tion of our cesare­an rate by 1/2 to 1/3 com­pared to the local pop­u­la­tion.

There is evi­dence of inverse risk for cesare­an as the amount and inten­si­ty of aer­o­bic con­di­tion­ing increas­es. These stud­ies are also fair­ly small, although they are numer­ous and have pro­duced con­sis­tent results con­cern­ing dose-effect. There is grow­ing inter­est with­in the health care field that sup­port­ing pre­na­tal aer­o­bics could help reduce the cesare­an rate. There is no infor­ma­tion from any cred­i­ble sources con­cern­ing the rela­tion­ship of yoga to type of birth. The only avail­able sta­tis­ti­cal infor­ma­tion is the coin­ci­den­tal cor­re­la­tion that as the cesare­an rate has risen in the U.S., so has the pop­u­la­tion that par­tic­i­pates in pre­na­tal yoga.

Yoga remains an illu­sive sub­ject of study. So much depends on who is teach­ing and what they are teach­ing. Unlike aer­o­bics, strength, range of motion, relax­ation response, bal­ance, coor­di­na­tion and train­ing speci­fici­ty — all of which we can pre­scribe and mea­sure — the pop­u­lar term yoga has lost mean­ing. How much of exact­ly what is nec­es­sary to pro­duce effects? What are those effects? Are they ben­e­fi­cial? These ques­tions are yet to be answered.

1 Comment

  1. Sublime Energy » Blog Archive » Benefits and Effects of Breath, Yoga and Meditation during Pregnancy
    June 7, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

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