Exercise in obese pregnant women: The role of social factors, lifestyle and pregnancy symptoms
- Equal contributors
1 Department of Internal Medicine and Aged Care, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, (Butterfield St), Brisbane, (4029), Australia
2 Department of Epidemiology, Queensland Institute of Medical Research and School of Population Health, University of Queensland, (Herston Rd), Brisbane, (4029), Australia
3 School of Human Movement Studies and Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Musk Ave, Brisbane,(4059), Australia
4 Department of Endocrinology and Obstetric Medicine, Mater Health Services and Mater Clinical School, University of Queensland, Stanley St, Brisbane, (4101), Australia
5 Department of Internal Medicine Services, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital and School of Medicine, University of Queensland, (Herston Rd) Brisbane, (4029), Australia
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2011, 11:4 doi:10.1186/1471-2393-11-4Published: 12 January 2011
Physical activity may reduce the risk of adverse maternal outcomes, yet there are very few studies that have examined the correlates of exercise amongst obese women during pregnancy. We examined which relevant sociodemographic, obstetric, and health behaviour variables and pregnancy symptoms were associated with exercise in a small sample of obese pregnant women.
This was a secondary analysis using data from an exercise intervention for the prevention of gestational diabetes in obese pregnant women. Using the Pregnancy Physical Activity Questionnaire (PPAQ), 50 obese pregnant women were classified as "Exercisers" if they achieved ≥900 kcal/wk of exercise and "Non-Exercisers" if they did not meet this criterion. Analyses examined which relevant variables were associated with exercise status at 12, 20, 28 and 36 weeks gestation.
Obese pregnant women with a history of miscarriage; who had children living at home; who had a lower pre-pregnancy weight; reported no nausea and vomiting; and who had no lower back pain, were those women who were most likely to have exercised in early pregnancy. Exercise in late pregnancy was most common among tertiary educated women.
Offering greater support to women from disadvantaged backgrounds and closely monitoring women who report persistent nausea and vomiting or lower back pain in early pregnancy may be important. The findings may be particularly useful for other interventions aimed at reducing or controlling weight gain in obese pregnant women.