Exercise During Pregnancy

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Story Updated: Nov 12, 2013

It's been decades since women were routinely prescribed lots of bed rest during pregnancy...and that's a good thing. New research shows expectant moms who exercise may be doing a great thing for their babies brain development.

Researchers recruited women during their first trimester...and randomly assigned them to an active group...or a sedentary one.

The active group was asked to exercise a minimum of 20 minutes, three times per week at a moderate intensity. The sedentary group was not asked to exercise.

Then 8 to 12 days after birth...their babies had EEG's and other tests to measure brain activity.

The babies born to mothers who were physically active had a more mature cerebral activation, suggesting that their brains developed more rapidly than those born after months of inactivity.

The researchers are now in the process of evaluating the children's cognitive, motor and language development at age 1 to verify if the positive impact of exercise is sustained.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the health news for you and your family.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com