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Exercise lowers risk of C-section

Pregnant women who exercise can significantly lower the risk of undergoing Caesarean sections and giving birth to overly large babies, a University of Alberta study has found.

Prenatal exercise has been suggested to be a means to prevent childhood obesity through a "normalisation" in birth weight (reducing the risk of having a large baby at birth). University of Alberta researchers conducted a meta-analysis to analyse 28 randomised control studies encompassing 5,322 women that looked at the influence of maternal exercise on baby outcomes.

"We found that women who exercised had a 31% reduction in the risk of having a large baby without changing the risk of having a small baby or an earlier baby," said lead researcher Margie Davenport, an assistant professor in the faculty of physical education and recreation. "Further, the risk of having a Caesarean section was reduced by 20%."

The findings are important because babies who are born large tend to be heavier as children and into adulthood.

[link url="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-05/uoa-pel051215.php"]University of Alberta material[/link]
[link url="http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/2015/05000/The_Effect_of_Supervised_Prenatal_Exercise_on.28.aspx"]Obstetrics & Gynecology abstract[/link]

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