Exercising and maintaining an active lifestyle during pregnancy would reduce labor time during delivery, according to a study conducted by the Technical University of Madrid in Spain.
Beneficial for relieving back pain and pelvic pain, or preventing gestational diabetes, physical exercise during pregnancy would also have a positive influence on labor time during childbirth.
This is revealed by a study of the Technical University of Madrid and published in the journal European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. Led by Professor Ruben Barakat, the study followed 508 healthy pregnant women, randomly divided into two groups. 253 women were placed in the control group, while the remaining 255 women underwent a moderate aerobics exercise program throughout their pregnancy, three times a week.
The researchers then analyzed a number of factors during the delivery of the 508 women, including the duration of each stage of labor, the mode of delivery, the weight gain of the mother and the baby’s weight at birth.
Shorter delivery and less epidural use
As a result, researchers found that women who exercised while pregnant were more likely to give birth quickly than women who did not exercise.
“A supervised physical exercise program throughout pregnancy reduced the duration of the first phase of labor and the total of the first two phases together, leading to a decrease in total labor time,” the researchers write.
Women in the exercise group were also less likely to use the epidural anesthesia during delivery, the study notes.
Physical exercise during pregnancy also plays on the weight of the newborn. The researchers found that cases of neonatal macrosomia, that is to say when the birth weight is greater than 4 kg in a new-born, were more common among women in the control group.