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Influence of antenatal physical exercise on haemodynamics in pregnant women: a flexible randomisation approach / Rhiannon Emma Carpenter; Simon J. Emery; Orhan Uzun; Lindsay A. D’Silva; Michael Lewis
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Volume: 15, Issue: 1
Swansea University Author: Michael, Lewis
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Background: Normal pregnancy is associated with marked changes in haemodynamic function, however theinfluence and potential benefits of antenatal physical exercise at different stages of pregnancy and postpartumremain unclear. The aim of this study was therefore to characterise the influence of regu...
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Background: Normal pregnancy is associated with marked changes in haemodynamic function, however theinfluence and potential benefits of antenatal physical exercise at different stages of pregnancy and postpartumremain unclear. The aim of this study was therefore to characterise the influence of regular physical exercise onhaemodynamic variables at different stages of pregnancy and also in the postpartum period.Methods: Fifty healthy pregnant women were recruited and randomly assigned (2 × 2 × 2 design) to a land orwater-based exercise group or a control group. Exercising groups attended weekly classes from the 20th week ofpregnancy onwards. Haemodynamic assessments (heart rate, cardiac output, stroke volume, total peripheralresistance, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and end diastolic index) were performed using the Task Forcehaemodynamic monitor at 12–16, 26–28, 34–36 and 12 weeks following birth, during a protocol including posturalmanoeurvres (supine and standing) and light exercise.Results: In response to an acute bout of exercise in the postpartum period, stroke volume and end diastolic indexwere greater in the exercise group than the non-exercising control group (p = 0.041 and p = 0.028 respectively).Total peripheral resistance and diastolic blood pressure were also lower (p = 0.015 and p = 0.007, respectively) in theexercise group. Diastolic blood pressure was lower in the exercise group during the second trimester (p = 0.030).Conclusions: Antenatal exercise does not appear to substantially alter maternal physiology with advancinggestation, speculating that the already vast changes in maternal physiology mask the influences of antenatalexercise, however it does appear to result in an improvement in a woman’s haemodynamic function (enhancedventricular ejection performance and reduced blood pressure) following the end of pregnancy.
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