Vol 92, No 11 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2021-04-16

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Physical activity during pregnancy — the state of Polish women’s knowledge

Alicja Szatko1, Joanna Kacperczyk-Bartnik2, Pawel Bartnik2, Ewelina Mabiala3, Martyna Goryszewska3, Agnieszka Dobrowolska-Redo2, Ewa Romejko-Wolniewicz2
Pubmed: 33914330
Ginekol Pol 2021;92(11):804-811.


Objectives: Regular and moderate physical activity during uncomplicated pregnancy has been considered beneficial for both the expectant mother and her unborn child. It reduces the risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and preeclampsia.
The aim of the study was to assess women’s knowledge concerning specific aspects of physical activity during uncomplicated pregnancy.
Material and methods: A cross-sectional survey study on a sample of Polish women in a tertiary referral centre was performed. A questionnaire that was validated in the Polish language was based on the Committee Opinion of American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which was published in December 2015. Sociodemographic parameters in relation to specific aspects of physical activity during pregnancy were analysed.
Results: A total of 259 (92.5%) women were aware of the beneficial impact of physical activity on the course of pregnancy. Higher education was associated with greater awareness (p = 0.001). Regarding the optimal frequency and recommended duration of exercise, the overall rates of correct answers were only 106 (38.1%) and 167 (59.6%), respectively. The most common sources of information on physical activity during pregnancy were the Internet (81, 50.0%) and books (62, 38.3%). Doctors and midwives instructed the respondents only in 36 (22.4%) and 31 (18.9%) cases, respectively.
Conclusions: Women’s knowledge about physical activity during pregnancy seems satisfactory. However, awareness concerning the optimal duration and frequency of exercise, as well as recommended voluntary activities during pregnancy, should be improved. Medical professionals may also reinforce their role as a provider of reliable information, resulting in the prevention of many pregnancy complications.

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