Exercising regularly during pregnancy helps newborn babies develop stronger lungs and fight off asthma, research shows (file image)

Exercise during pregnancy “can strengthen the baby’s lungs”: Regular exercise for expectant mothers helps newborns fight off asthma, according to research

  • Study found that children of women who did little exercise during pregnancy were twice as likely to have poor lung function
  • Experts said the results showed the importance of keeping expectant mothers fit
  • The exercise helps the newborns develop stronger lungs and fight off athsma

Work out Regularly in pregnancy helps newborn babies develop stronger lungs and fight off asthma, research shows.

Scientists asked more than 800 women how active they were during pregnancy, and then tested their babies’ lung function at three months of age.

The study by researchers at the University of Oslo found that children of women who did little exercise were twice as likely to have poor lung function.

Experts said the results showed the importance of expectant mothers to stay fit, both for their own health and that of their child.

Exercising regularly during pregnancy helps newborn babies develop stronger lungs and fight off asthma, research shows (file image)

The babies’ lung function was assessed by measuring normal breathing in calm, awake infants. This was done by placing a face mask over your nose and mouth and recording the flow and volume of air you breathed in and out.

About 8.6 percent of babies born to inactive mothers had the lowest lung function compared to just 4.2 percent of babies born to active mothers.

The main author Dr. Hrefna Katrin Gudmundsdottir said, “Previous studies have shown that people with poor lung function in infancy are at greater risk of asthma, other obstructive pulmonary diseases and lower lung function later in life.

“If physical activity during pregnancy could reduce the infant’s risk of compromised lung function, it would be a simple and inexpensive way to improve the offspring’s respiratory health.”

The study by researchers at the University of Oslo found that children of women who did little exercise were twice as likely to have poor lung function

The study by researchers at the University of Oslo found that children of women who did little exercise were twice as likely to have poor lung function

Professor Jonathan Grigg, Head of Pediatric Respiratory and Environmental Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, said: “We already know a lot about the importance of staying physically fit and active for expectant mothers, but far less is about the effects known that to their babies.

“This study offers fascinating evidence that increased physical activity in mothers is associated with better lung function in their babies.” The results of the study were presented at the virtual international congress of the European Respiratory Society.

The NHS urges expectant mothers to maintain normal daily physical activity and exercise as long as they are comfortable.

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