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PM R. 2009 Mar;1(3):261-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2008.12.006.

What effect does an exercise program for healthy pregnant women have on the mother, fetus, and child?

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  • 1Legacy Physical Therapy, St. Louis, MO 63122, USA.


Forty-two percent of women report exercising during pregnancy. Current American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) guidelines recommend only 30 minutes of exercise per day. Developments in research have occurred since the 2002 publication of the ACOG guidelines. Evaluation of specific outcomes related to the mother, fetus, and child provide new clinical insight regarding the safety of exercise programs for healthy pregnant women. The purpose of this focused review is to critically evaluate recent studies regarding the effect of exercise during a healthy pregnancy on maternal, fetal, and child outcomes. A search of electronic bibliographic databases was undertaken. Based on this review, healthy pregnant women can benefit from exercising at a moderate intensity for a longer duration than recommended in the current ACOG guidelines that are based on studies published before or during 2002.

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