Exercise During Pregnancy: Effects on the Mother and the Fetus

Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Exercise and Sport Studies



Major Advisor

Linda M. Petlichkoff


Genger A. Fahleson


Bill Kozar


The effect of exercise on the mother and the fetus was investigated by comparing two groups of volunteers on five components of labor and fetal outcome. These components included weight gain of the mother, time in labor, closeness of delivery to the due date, infant birth weight, and one and five-minute Apgar scores. Nineteen women recorded exercise for the last five months of pregnancy. From this information subjects were divided into active and sedentary groups. Information regarding labor, delivery, and fetal outcome were recorded and statistically analyzed. Although not significantly different from the sedentary group, the active group experienced slightly less weight gain during pregnancy, a longer time in labor, and slightly lower birth weight babies. There were no differences between the two groups with regard to closeness of delivery to the due date, or Apgar scores. Results of this study support previous research in that exercise appears to be safe during pregnancy but not necessarily beneficial to components of labor and fetal outcome.

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