According to a UK study, women who suffers depressive symptoms in pregnancy are more likely to sit down for prolonged periods of time during the 2nd semester; thereby putting them at greater risk for weight gain and from suffering gestational diabetes symptoms.
The study emphasized the need for women to address their physical and mental health during earlier stages of pregnancy in order to help lower the risks associated with sedentary lifestyle, says to the authors of the research.
The impact of sedentary lifestyle on pregnancy was previously unclear; currently, there are no UK guidelines for how long and how much physical activity is required for a healthy pregnancy.
Researchers from Warwick University studied the level of physical activity and emotional wellbeing in about 1,263 pregnant women during their first and second trimester of pregnancy. Their studies found that women who reported depressive symptoms are more likely to sit down for extended periods of time despite the factors of age, body mass index, and socio-economic status. Those who spent more time being sedentary during the second trimester also did only less amounts of physical activity, gaining significant weight in the first and second trimester.
Furthermore, they found that these women have higher blood glucose levels during their 28th week of pregnancy, thereby increasing their risk of developing gestational diabetes.
Dr. Nithya Sukkumar, the lead author of the study from Warwick Medical School, said, “Pregnant women could benefit from early intervention to improve their physical and mental health and reduce the risks associated with sedentary behavior.”
“Gestational diabetes can increase the risk of birth complications for the mother and baby and so it is important we minimize this risk by reducing the time that pregnant women spend sitting down,” she added.
We’ve all heard about the importance of exercise during pregnancy. This is especially important to those who are at increased risk for gestational diabetes. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), those with uncomplicated pregnancies should be encouraged to perform physical activities before, during, and after pregnancy.
ACOG have recommended an update regarding pregnancy exercises:
- Physical activity in pregnant women shows little risks. In fact, it is shown to benefit most women, although some exercise modifications may be needed due to the normal physiologic changes and fetal requirements.
- Before an exercise is recommended, a thorough clinical and physical evaluation is conducted to make sure that the patient won’t have any reason to avoid exercise.
- Those with uncomplicated pregnancies should be encouraged to perform strength-conditioning and aerobic exercises pre-, intra-, and post-partum.
- Women with medical conditions or obstetric complications should be properly evaluated by health care providers before recommending physical activities during pregnancy. Bed rest, although prescribed frequently, is rarely indicated; in most cases, ambulation is considered.
- Engaging in physical activity during pregnancy improves physical fitness, helps in managing weight, and reduces the risk of gestational diabetes in overweight and obese women, while also enhances psychological wellbeing.
Dr. Raul Artal notes that there are a lot of benefits of exercise in pregnancy. This includes maintaining physical fitness, improving longevity, weight management, as well as prevention of gestational diabetes. He said, “It helps them with preventing hypertension and other sedentary lifestyle co-morbidities.”Leave a Comment