Babies Benefit if Mothers Follow Lifestyle Advice During Pregnancy

In the largest study of its kind, researchers gave nutrition and exercise advice to pregnant women who were either overweight or obese. Women who received such advice increased their fruit and vegetable intake and reduced saturated fat intake. They also engaged in 15-20 minutes of brisk walking on most days of the week. Their babies were more likely to have a healthier birth weight, less likely to have a moderate to severe respiratory distress syndrome, and were able to go home sooner than babies born from mothers in a control group that did not receive any diet or exercise advice. The researchers hope that by following some simple, practical, and achievable lifestyle advice, overweight pregnant women can improve both their own health and the health of their babies.

BMC Medicine, October 2014