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NEW CANADIAN CLINICAL GUIDELINE PRESCRIBES PRENATAL PHYSICAL ACTIVITY TO PROMOTE THE HEALTH OF TWO GENERATIONS (STEPHANIE-MAY RUCHAT – UNIVERSITÉ DU QUÉBEC À TROIS-RIVIÈRES)

29 October 2018

General Public News 

Over the past 30 years, the rate of pregnancy-related complications, such as gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia (a very serious condition that can can be life-threatening for both the mother and her unborn child), and neonatal macrosomia, has increased dramatically, along with maternal obesity. Today, there is no doubt that regular prenatal exercise can prevent these complications.

The new clinical guidelines recently published by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada and the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology are the result of a long-term effort led by three researchers, Stephanie-May Ruchat (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières), Margie Davenport (University of Alberta) and Michelle Mottola (Western University). The revision of 25,000 articles and the analysis of 675 studies that were included in 12 meta-analyzes demonstrated that by practicing 150 minutes per week of various type of physical activity (aerobic and resistance training activities) of moderate intensity, women can reduce their risk of gestational diabetes, pregnancy hypertension and pre-eclampsia by 40%, and that of depression by 25%. These new guidelines represent a fundamental shift in our view of physical activity during pregnancy. Physical activity throughout the nine months of pregnancy is no longer just a recommended behavior; it is a behavior that obstetrical care providers should prescribe in order to decrease the risk of pregnancy complications and optimize the health of the mother and her baby. This work was funded by a Knowledge Synthesis Grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Here are some public links for the new guidelines (Only available in French):

Here are some public links for Stephanie-May Ruchat’s research team (Only available in French):