Last updated on Jul 7th, 2020 at 02:24 pm

Now there’s more reason to work out while expecting – exercising while pregnant helps keep your placenta healthy…

New research has found a possible explanation for the benefits of maternal exercise on foetal development, in obese mothers: it’s down to improved placental function.

The important role of the placenta

The placenta is critical for the delivery of nutrients and oxygen from the mother to her foetuses.

The placental function can be impaired due to maternal obesity, which likely alters nutrient and oxygen delivery to the foetus.

Pregnancy: Why womb age matters

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Healthier mothers and babies

Exercise during pregnancy is known to be beneficial for both maternal health and foetal development.

This study found that exercise both improved the function of the placenta, but also the metabolism of the mother. Importantly, they found that the babies were not born larger (which is frequently associated with obesity and metabolic diseases in later life) when the obese mothers exercised.

“Understanding how maternal exercise might help prevent offspring from becoming obese or developing metabolic diseases will help us best guide mothers so they can ensure their babies are as healthy as possible,” says Prof Min Du, senior author of the study.

Source: The Physiological Society via