Tips and ad­vice to guide you through your preg­nancy.

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Ex­er­cise to shorten labour

Ex­er­cise dur­ing preg­nancy has been shown to im­prove cir­cu­la­tion, help with weight man­age­ment, con­trol blood sugar, man­age blood pres­sure, de­crease the chance of preterm labour and com­pli­ca­tions, and shorten hospi­tal stays. But, the ben­e­fits don’t end there. A new study from Te­chini­cal Univer­sity in Madrid, Spain, has found that preg­nant women who per­form mod­er­ate ex­er­cise just three times a week sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced both the first and sec­ond stage of labour, as well as their need for an epidu­ral. The team of re­searchers, led by Pro­fes­sor Ruben Barakat, car­ried out a study with 508 healthy women. There were 253 in the con­trol group and 255 in the ex­er­cise group.The lat­ter were given a mod­er­ate aer­o­bic ex­er­cise pro­gramme through­out their preg­nan­cies to per­form three days a week. A num­ber of fac­tors were an­a­lysed while each wo­man gave birth and the preg­nant women who ex­er­cised mod­er­ately dur­ing their preg­nan­cies were more likely to spend less time in labour than the women who hadn’t ex­er­cised.

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