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Exercise during pregnancy leads to a healthier heart in moms- and babies-to-be
Date:4/7/2008

SAN DIEGO, CA Studies have shown that exercise has a positive effect on mothers-to-be, and no detrimental impact on their developing offspring. A new study further extends the knowledge of research in this area and has found that not only do women benefit from exercise in pregnancy, but their fetuses do too.

These findings are contained in a new study entitled, Effects of Maternal Exercise on the Fetal Heart. It was conducted by Linda E. May of the Department of Anatomy, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB), Kansas City, MO; Kathleen F. Gustafson, Anda Popescu and Mihai Popescu of the Hoglund Brain Imaging Center, KUMC, Kansas City, KS; and William B. Drake, Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Childrens Mercy Hospital/UMKC School of Medicine, Kansas City, MO. Dr. May will present her teams findings at the 121st annual meeting of the American Physiological Society (APS; www.the-APS.org/press), part of the Experimental Biology 2008 scientific conference. Research support was provided by HBIC pilot Funds and KCUMB intramural grants.

The Study

The researchers hypothesized that maternal exercise during pregnancy can have a beneficial effect on fetal cardiac programming by reducing fetal heart rate and increasing heart rate variability. As a result, a key component of the research involved magnetocardiography (MCG), the magnetic correlate of an electrocardiogram (ECG). MCG is a safe, non-invasive method to record the magnetic field surrounding the electrical currents generated by the fetal heart and nervous system. In addition to measures of heart rate and variability, the MCG allows for the study of the cardiac waveforms to measure of cardiac time intervals.

For the study, fetal recordings were obtained from 24 weeks to term. Maternal and fetal events were recorded in real time. Fetal movements such as breathing, body and mouth movements were recorded usi
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Contact: Donna Krupa
DKrupa@the-aps.org
619-525-6202
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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