We’ve known that exercising while pregnant is good for mom’s health and can reduce the risk of health issues like gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, but now we know more about how it affects the health of the baby as well. A new study finds that staying active during pregnancy can also give baby a developmental boost and could even help them stay healthier later in life.
Researchers followed healthy pregnant women between ages 18 and 35 with low-risk pregnancies and found the future moms who trained at moderate intensity three times a week for 50 minutes each had infants who scored higher on tests that assess motor development. Study author Dr. Linda May says that at one month old, the babies of moms who stuck to this exercise routine performed better on the tests that determine motor tone and muscle reflexes than babies of moms who didn’t exercise while pregnant.
May explains that these scores are indicators of a baby’s proper development and that the infants of moms who worked out during pregnancy may hit milestones like walking and crawling earlier. So physical activity isn’t just important for expecting moms, it’s beneficial for their babies too.