Exercise is good not only for mothers-to-be, but also for their developing babies, according to a new study by researchers from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.
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Maternal exercise during pregnancy may have a beneficial effect on fetal cardiac programming by reducing fetal heart rate and increasing heart rate variability. Researchers studied fetal heart rates with magnetocardiography (MCG), a safe, non-invasive method used to record the magnetic field surrounding the electrical currents generated by the fetal heart and nervous system.
There were significantly lower heart rates among fetuses that had been exposed to maternal exercise. The heart rates among non-exposed fetuses were higher, regardless of the fetal activity or the gestational age.
The researchers concluded that exercising during pregnancy can benefit a mother’s own heart and her developing baby’s heart as well.
Science Daily April 10, 2008
121st annual meeting of the American Physiological Society April 5-9, 2008, San Diego, CA