open access

Vol 92, No 2 (2021)
Research paper
Published online: 2020-10-16
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The effects of a physical exercise program on fetal well-being and intrauterine safety

Beata Makaruk1, Rafal Iciek2, Andrzej Zalewski3, Anna Galczak-Kondraciuk4, Weronika Grantham1
DOI: 10.5603/GP.a2020.0144
·
Pubmed: 33448007
·
Ginekol Pol 2021;92(2):126-131.
Affiliations
  1. Department of Sport for All, Faculty of Physical Education and Health in Biała Podlaska, Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education, Warsaw, Poland, Biała Podlaska, Poland
  2. Department of Obstetrics and Women’s Diseases, Karol Marcinkowski University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland
  3. Gynecologist, obstetrician and anesthesiologist at Andrzej Zalewski’s Specialist Practice, Biala Podlaska, Poland
  4. Department of Health Promotion, Faculty of Physical Education and Health in Biała Podlaska, Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education, Warsaw, Poland

open access

Vol 92, No 2 (2021)
ORIGINAL PAPERS Obstetrics
Published online: 2020-10-16

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a supervised physical exercise program on fetal well-being
and intrauterine safety. Physical activity is recommended for healthy pregnant women. However, constant evaluation of
fetal condition and development is recommended to ensure the safety of the exercise program.
Material and methods: Randomized control trial study design. Sixty-six healthy pregnant women (age 24–35) with singleton
gestation were randomly assigned to either an exercise group (EG, n = 34) or a non-active control group (CG, n = 32). The
exercise program included 81 sessions (moderate intensity, 3 times per week, 50–60 min/session from weeks 13 to weeks
40/41 of pregnancy). Fetal well-being was assessed in weeks 32 and 37 of pregnancy. The cerebroplacental ratio (CPR) was
calculated to evaluate the safety of the exercise program for the fetus.
Results: The differences in the CPR ratio measurements between EG and CG groups in week 37 (p < 0.05) were observed.
The increase in the CPR ratio was also shown in week 37 of pregnancy in comparison to week 32 (p < 0.01). Moreover,
maternal heart rate was significantly lower in the exercise group as measured at 37 weeks (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: The results of this study confirm that regular and supervised exercise program throughout pregnancy does
not affect fetal well-being and is safe for the fetus. Additionally, regular physical activity improves maternal physical fitness
and cardiac efficiency which might aid at preparing pregnant women for natural labor.

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a supervised physical exercise program on fetal well-being
and intrauterine safety. Physical activity is recommended for healthy pregnant women. However, constant evaluation of
fetal condition and development is recommended to ensure the safety of the exercise program.
Material and methods: Randomized control trial study design. Sixty-six healthy pregnant women (age 24–35) with singleton
gestation were randomly assigned to either an exercise group (EG, n = 34) or a non-active control group (CG, n = 32). The
exercise program included 81 sessions (moderate intensity, 3 times per week, 50–60 min/session from weeks 13 to weeks
40/41 of pregnancy). Fetal well-being was assessed in weeks 32 and 37 of pregnancy. The cerebroplacental ratio (CPR) was
calculated to evaluate the safety of the exercise program for the fetus.
Results: The differences in the CPR ratio measurements between EG and CG groups in week 37 (p < 0.05) were observed.
The increase in the CPR ratio was also shown in week 37 of pregnancy in comparison to week 32 (p < 0.01). Moreover,
maternal heart rate was significantly lower in the exercise group as measured at 37 weeks (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: The results of this study confirm that regular and supervised exercise program throughout pregnancy does
not affect fetal well-being and is safe for the fetus. Additionally, regular physical activity improves maternal physical fitness
and cardiac efficiency which might aid at preparing pregnant women for natural labor.

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Keywords

physical activity; regular exercise program; fetal safety; cerebroplacental ratio

About this article
Title

The effects of a physical exercise program on fetal well-being and intrauterine safety

Journal

Ginekologia Polska

Issue

Vol 92, No 2 (2021)

Article type

Research paper

Pages

126-131

Published online

2020-10-16

DOI

10.5603/GP.a2020.0144

Pubmed

33448007

Bibliographic record

Ginekol Pol 2021;92(2):126-131.

Keywords

physical activity
regular exercise program
fetal safety
cerebroplacental ratio

Authors

Beata Makaruk
Rafal Iciek
Andrzej Zalewski
Anna Galczak-Kondraciuk
Weronika Grantham

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