Sunday, April 24, 2016

Exercising Effects During Pregnancy

According to an article published in the New York Times, “Does Exercising During Pregnancy Lead to Exercise-Loving Offspring?” scientists speculate whether a growing baby’s body and its DNA can be changed by the environment it experiences in the womb before and after birth. Researchers speculate that after a number of studies identified various snippets of DNA, a person carrying them predisposes that person to be active, while other gene variations may result in a person being inactive. 
  Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine andRiced University in Houston crossed two genetically identical females with two genetically identical males.  Half of the mice had a running wheel and half did not during their pregnancy.  The second generation mice were removed from the first and kept in a cage without a running wheel or visual ability from their mothers running on the wheel.  The results were that the second generation mice from the active running mice during her pregnancy were also active.  The second generation mice from the in-active mother was not as active as well. 
  From these results scientist concludes that there is a clear implication “that a mother’s activity during pregnancy likely affects the physical activity of her offspring.” 

  I found this article to be a bit random, because there are so many factors that prevents physical activity during a pregnancy.  Also, during the first year of youth, a baby goes through many growth spurts and a significant change during the fourth and fifth year.  How can a child’s future activeness or inactiveness be dependent on a mother’s pregnancy process?  Although, these are studies based on mice experiments and scientist hope to find a link between mother’s activeness during pregnancy to her offspring’s future in humans; I don't feel that a mothers physical activeness dictates her child's future activeness.  


  1. I agree with you, I think these results are not entirely conclusive. I don't see how a mother being active during pregnancy can in turn make her offspring more active. Also of note is what their definition of active is, how much or how often did the mice have to run on the wheel to be considered "active."

  2. Although I do agree with you and Kevin that these results are not entirely conclusive, I do think that there is definitely a correlation between exercise during pregnancy/fit moms and healthy babies. Just last year a study was published in FASEB Journal which recruited 60 women at 13wks of pregnancy and brought them into the gym 3x/wk for exercise. The control group of women came in to stretch and keep their heart rates low. Then at 34 weeks the researchers checked in with the baby hearts. These babies heart rates were lower and more variable, signs of heart health, and pumped more blood with each beat than the babies hearts inside moms in the control group. This is among many more new studies being published, and recently the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released their stance on the issue. They state that for healthy women, at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most, if not all, days, is highly recommended for both maternal and fetal health. Of course though, as Jocelyn stated, some women can’t safely exercise during part or all of their pregnancy, and those women who can exercise should watch out for warning signs while exercising, such as bleeding or contractions.

  3. I find this interesting because exercising while pregnant has become a trend I would say. I appreciate Mallory mentioning the study you saw, and i believe the results 100%. I am sure that the moms who exercise do have healthy babies but moms who have not exercise also have healthy babies. I believe one has to be an active person to begin with to exercise during their pregnancy and not just start while their pregnant.

  4. I agree with you, Kevin, and Mallory that these results are not entirely conclusive. I cannot imagine that an active mother during her pregnancy would for sure have active children. However, there may be some truth to this study that scientists have yet to discover. As this study reminded about mothers listening to classical music during their pregnancy and having children that are more intelligent and have greater musical capability then those who don't. I wonder if being active and musically inclined (provided the mother is doing both exercising and listening to classical music during her pregnancy) is effected by the same thing. Research needs to continue to solve these mysteries.

  5. I agree as well that this probably does not conclude for certain that exercising while pregnant will lead to exercise-loving children. There are so many factors that can contribute to that, as well as genes themselves. I always read about research done with rats, and while their findings suggest that the claim is true, rats are not the same as humans so that is also not clear cut evidence. While it may have some sort of influence, it may also just be coincidence or other variables.