Gestation period never means complete bed rest and total lack of physical activities. Doing moderating exercises like aerobics and stationary cycling during pregnancy can reduce the risk of having a caesarean section delivery as well as diabetes. Nowadays, women are more prone to birth complications and caesarean section owing to the fact that half of all women of childbearing age worldwide are either overweight or obese. So, to cut the risk of C-section, one should practice moderate exercises during pregnancy to check the weight gain. A study has revealed that light physical activities can reduce the mother’s weight gain by an average of 0.7 kg.
It also lowered the odds of the mother having a caesarean section by about 10 per cent, the research revealed.Caesarean section can carry risks such as infections for the mother and breathing difficulties for the baby.
"For every 40 mothers who follow the healthy diet and moderate exercise, one less woman will end up with a caesarean section," said Shakila Thangaratinam, Professor at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in England.
Changes in lifestyle reduced the risk of diabetes in pregnancy by 24 per cent, which normally affects over one in 10 mothers in pregnancy and increases risks of complications in mother and the baby.
"Our findings are important because it is often thought that pregnant women shouldn't exercise because it may harm the baby," Thangaratinam said.
But the study, published in The BMJ, shows "that the babies are not affected by physical activity or dieting, and that there are additional benefits including a reduction in maternal weight gain, diabetes in pregnancy, and the risk of requiring a caesarean section", she added.
During the study, the team involved 12,526 pregnant women across 36 previous trials in 16 countries. They analysed the individual participant data to compare the effects of dieting and moderate exercises.
(With IANS Inputs)
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