ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Sea Worm Inspires Novel Bone Glue
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
CANCER
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes
Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents
Caring for Aging Loved Ones Can Be a Catch-22
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
Air Pollution Raises Risk of Heart Disease, Death
EYE CARE, VISION
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
FITNESS
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Vinegar Might Help Keep Off Pounds
Less Education May Mean Poorer Health
Swine Flu Fatality Rate a 'Little Bit' Higher Than That of Seasonal Flu
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Treat Kids to a Safe Halloween
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
SENIORS
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
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Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal

(HealthDay News) -- Along with keeping mom healthy, regular exercise during pregnancy helps prevent excessive newborn weight, a new study shows.

Published in the October issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Norwegian researchers found that the odds of delivering a too-big baby dropped by as much as 28 percent in women who exercised regularly in their second and third trimesters during their first pregnancy.

"Women often adopt healthier habits before and during pregnancy, like stopping caffeine use. This study suggests that adding exercise to that list may be icing on the cake," said Dr. Robert Welch, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Mich.

Known medically as fetal macrosomia, a heavier birth weight poses a risk to both the baby and the mother. If a baby weighs more than 8.8 pounds, the risk of delivery problems, C-sections, postpartum hemorrhage and low Apgar scores all increase, according to background information in the study. Larger birth weights have also been associated with an increased risk of obesity later in life, according to the researchers.

The study also reported that the number of too-big babies appears to be on the rise, while the number of women exercising during pregnancy is on the decline.

To measure what effect regular exercise has on newborn weight, the Norwegian researchers reviewed data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort study. That database included information on nearly 37,000 women, whose pregnancies lasted at least 37 weeks.

All of the women were pregnant with one child. Two-thirds of the women were normal weight, and 20 percent were overweight, but not obese.

Exercise information was gathered at weeks 17 and 30 of the pregnancies. In women who'd never been pregnant before, 43 percent said they exercised three times a week or more before pregnancy. In women who'd previously been pregnant, 32 percent said they exercised three times a week or more.

By the 30th week of pregnancy, 25 percent reported never exercising, and 19 percent said they exercised one to three times a month. Twenty-nine percent reported exercising one to two times weekly, while 24 percent said they were exercising three or more times each week.

Pre-pregnancy exercise didn't seem to make a difference in a baby's birth weight, but exercise during pregnancy did. In women who'd never been pregnant before, those who were exercising at least three times a week had a 28 percent reduced risk of a large birth weight baby, while those who were still regularly exercising at 30 weeks had a 23 percent decreased risk of having a too-big baby.

The effects of exercise didn't appear to be as consistently beneficial in women who'd already had children. When these women danced or participated in low-impact aerobics, they also reduced the likelihood of delivering a large baby, but when they swam or trained in fitness centers, the benefit disappeared.

Although the study wasn't able to address why this was so, Dr. Steven Allen, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Scott & White Healthcare in Temple, Texas, said it may be that this may be a risk factor that's less modifiable in subsequent pregnancies, or "they may not have had enough exercise."

Allen said that while exercise during pregnancy is definitely a good idea, these findings might be different if done with a different population. For example, American women are likely more ethnically diverse and have different average body-mass index levels.

But, in any case, Allen said, "Exercise should be encouraged for everyone who's healthy enough to do it. Exercise shouldn't be discontinued just because you're pregnant."

Allen added that research in the United States has also shown that women who exercise are less likely to have preterm deliveries.

Welch cautioned that as women progress in pregnancy, they should avoid any exercise that has them lay flat on their back, because this can restrict blood flow to both baby and mom. Also, contact sports are out, as is anything where falling might be likely, such as horseback riding.

He said he tells his patients to keep their heart rate to no more than 120 beats per minute during exercise. This allows you to get an aerobic workout, but isn't so much that it might shunt blood away from the baby, Welch explained.

SOURCES: Robert Welch, M.D., chairman, obstetrics and gynecology, Providence Hospital, Southfield, Mich.; Steven Allen, M.D., chairman, obstetrics and gynecology, Scott & White Healthcare, Temple, Texas; October 2009 Obstetrics and Gynecology Published on: September 21, 2009