Intuition and research tell us that the lifestyle of a pregnant woman can affect her baby. From drinking alcohol to smoking, there are certain behaviors doctors discourage. At the same time, some lifestyles can be beneficial for baby…
And exercise just got one major point in its favor.
This past week, researchers from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences presented interesting work at the Experimental Biology 2011 meeting in Washington. With a group of 61 healthy women, 20 to 35 years old, the researchers piloted a study on the relationship between exercise, pregnancy and fetal heart health.
Now, in the past, researchers found a correlation between a mother’s aerobic workout and an increased heart rate of her unborn child. Still, such correlation was generally thought to be transient. This new research went a step further, as the New York Times reports, to find that babies born to exercising mothers continued to have lower heart rates and greater heart-rate variability four weeks after delivery than the babies born to women who did not work out.
Exciting to think about the next step of studying whether or not this head start for babies continues to help children as they mature through toddlerhood…!