Exercising While Pregnant May Boost Baby Brain Power

When you’re pregnant, there are certain trimesters when you feel exhausted just walking up the stairs to your bedroom – never mind trying to get a good cardio workout in. But, you might want to try.

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Exercising may have benefits beyond just your body.

According to researchers from the University of Montreal, just 20 minutes of exercise, three times a week, could improve a newborn baby’s brainpower. The study found enhanced baby brain activity in newborns whose mom’s exercised versus those who were sedentary.

Apparently, the benefits of moderate activity can be seen in a newborn even immediately after birth. The study examined two groups of moms to see how mom’s activity during pregnancy influenced her baby’s cognition. It watched 18 women starting in their first trimester and ending when their babies were between eight and 12 days old. The moms-to-be were randomly assigned to be either active or sedentary. The sedentary group did nothing and the active group exercised for 20 minutes a day, three days a week.

After the women gave birth, researchers used an EEG on the babies, to record brain activity in response to a beeping noise when it suddenly changed in pitch. The babies of mothers who exercised responded more quickly and efficiently. This could have implications when the child begins to learn to speak and talk.

Moms who exercised obviously felt better throughout pregnancy, but they also had less severe morning sickness. After giving birth, the moving moms recovered faster and slept better. While it still needs to be determined whether the brain boost lasts as the children develops, the bottom line is this: If you’re healthier – you are happier. And if you’re in better shape, it spills over to the health of your pregnancy and your baby.

Did you exercise while you were pregnant?