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Am J Health Promot. 2016 Jan-Feb;30(3):149-54. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.140221-QUAN-79. Epub 2015 Jan 23.

Regular Exercise Throughout Pregnancy Is Associated With a Shorter First Stage of Labor.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The aim of the present study was to examine the influence of moderate physical exercise throughout pregnancy on the duration of labor stages.

DESIGN:

Study was a randomized controlled trial.

SETTING:

The study took place at Hospital Puerta de Hierro and Hospital Severo Ochoa in Madrid, Spain.

SUBJECTS:

We examined 166 pregnant women (31.6 ± 3.8 years), and all had uncomplicated and singleton gestation. Of these 83 were allocated to the exercise group (EG) and 83 to the control group (CG).

INTERVENTION:

Women from the EG participated in a physical conditioning program throughout pregnancy, which included 55- to 60-minute sessions, 3 days per week.

MEASURES:

Pregnancy outcomes were measured: duration of labor stages, gestational age, weight gain, type of delivery, birth weight, birth size, head circumference, Apgar score, pH of umbilical cord.

ANALYSIS:

Student's unpaired t-tests and χ(2) tests were used; p values of < .05 indicated statistical significance. Cohen's d was used to determine the effect size.

RESULTS:

Significant differences were found in the duration of the first stage of labor (EG = 389.6 ± 347.64 minutes vs. CG = 515.72 ± 353.36 minutes; p = .02, effect size Cohen's d = .36). The second and third stages did not differ between the study groups.

CONCLUSION:

A physical exercise program during pregnancy is associated with a shorter first stage of labor. These results may have important relevance to public health.

KEYWORDS:

Duration; Health focus: physical activity; Labor; Manuscript format: research; Outcome measure: duration of stages of labor; Physical Exercise; Pregnancy Outcomes; Pregnancy Research; Prevention Research; Research purpose: intervention testing; Setting: health care; Strategy: behavior change, culture change; Study design: randomized trial; Target population age: adults; Target population circumstances: pregnant women

PMID:
25615706
DOI:
10.4278/ajhp.140221-QUAN-79
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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