INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to examine the association between exercising during pregnancy and various variables related to labor, maternal health, and infant health in women within the study population.
METHODS: We enrolled 171 participants, including 127 pregnant women in their last trimester (28 weeks or more according to the last menstrual period) and 44 puerperant women in the postpartum period (including the 40th postpartum day), who applied to the Gynecology and Obstetrics clinic between January - February 2017 for birth or examination. According to the exercise status during pregnancy, the patients, who were divided into two groups, were questioned by the face-to-face interview method for various parameters related to exercise. The chi-square method is used to investigate any difference between the groups in terms of the queried parameters and odds ratio values.
RESULTS: While 67.1% (n = 114) of the participants stated that they exercised during their pregnancy, 32.9% (n = 56) stated that they never exercised during pregnancy. Of the participants who exercised during pregnancy, 24.6% (n = 28) were doing moderate-paced walking or equivalent exercise at least 3-4 times a week, while 75.4% (n = 86) were doing less than two times a week. It was observed that those who had information about pregnancy exercises and who exercised regularly before pregnancy were more frequent during pregnancy (2.5 and 4.6 times, respectively). Besides, it was seen that edema formation was less (2.5 times) in those who exercised during pregnancy, but skin striae were more frequent (1.9 times).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Although exercise during pregnancy does not significantly affect infant health, it provides some advantages in maternal health. We recommend that pregnant should take counseling about the benefits and possible risks of exercise in family medicine.