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An active pregnancy could mean less medical intervention

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It’s all too easy to hit the sofa or even take to your bed when you’re pregnant and tired, but new research is now claiming that more mums-to-be who have an active pregnancy are less likely to need medical intervention during labour.

The study led by Swansea University found that women with low activity levels during pregnancy are twice as likely to need interventions such as forceps and had a higher rate of Caesarean sections.active pregnancy

Factors taken into consideration

Researchers analysed anonymous data from 466 women looking at factors such as their body mass index and activity levels, which were recorded over a seven-day period using an accelerometer. They then examined what happened during babies’ births, including how many women had to be induced, how long they were in labour, how the baby was delivered and the newborn’s health.

Twice as many needed intervention

They found twice as many incidents of forceps or ventouse assisted deliveries among women with low activity levels, compared to those with activity levels deemed to be high (26 per cent compared to 13 per cent). There was also a higher incidence of Caesarean sections among less active women, at 37 per cent compared to 25 per cent and the results are said to be irrespective of other factors, such as a woman’s weight.

Kelly Morgan, from Swansea University College of Medicine, who led the research, said: “Our findings provide positive news for pregnant women. Often women are apprehensive about the process of childbirth and the uncertainty of needing medical interventions. Our results suggest that maintaining an active lifestyle during pregnancy is an avenue for promoting an intervention-free birth. This is something all women with complication-free pregnancies can take advantage of.”

 

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