Exercise can shorten labor?!
As millions of women stare at their treadmill, wondering how much labor they’re willing to put with, to avoid getting on the thing with a bowling ball strapped to them. Scientists, from Technical University, in Madrid, Spain, are wagging their fingers, and according to a new study they have found that exercise can shorten labor.
Researchers studied 508 healthy pregnant women who were in the second trimester. They assigned 253 of the expecting parents to a control group, with no interventions, although, we’re hopeful there was a lot of carbs and cups of tea supplied. They then designated 255 of the women to be the exercise group; in this group, the women were given a moderate aerobic exercise program of three sessions a week throughout the pregnancy. Which we are 100% sure those women were thankful for some extra work during this otherwise boring downtime in their lives, growing new humans and trying to keep food down. What’s a little weight lifting when you’re pregnant?
In the labor room, there was a measurable difference. The first stage of labor — the beginning of labor to full opening of the cervix — was an average of 53 minutes shorter for women in the exercise program.
It wasn’t just the first stage of labor that was affected. The women who exercised had a total labor time that was an average of 57 minutes shorter than the women not led in exercise. Where we are led to wonder which side of the study group felt better about their assignments during the pregnancy.
The researchers also noted that the participants in the group who were supplied nutrition and exercise advice only, reported higher weight gain during pregnancy. Probably all those extra cups of tea and relaxing.
Pregnant women should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, according to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In addition to the shorter labor benefit found in the study, exercising during pregnancy may also help decrease the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and cesarean delivery, reduce back pain, strengthen heart and blood vessels, and give other benefits, notes the ACOG.
What about you? did you notice a shorter labor if you exercised?