Exercising during pregnancy for first-time, expectant mothers can impact the size of their newborns, according to Norwegian researchers.
A new HealthDay article reveals the statistics, published in the October issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Among the findings, the chances of delivering a baby over 8.8 pounds drops 28% if the expectant mother is exercising regularly in the second and third trimesters during her first pregnancy.
According to the report, the risks associated with delivering a baby larger than 8.8 pounds include increase instances of delivery problems, postpartum hemorrhage and C-sections.
Dr. Robert Welch, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan, tells HealthDay, "Women often adopt healthier habits before and during pregnancy, like stopping caffeine use. This study suggests that adding exercise to that list may be icing on the cake."
He added that it is important to avoid any contact sports and to keep the heart rate at no more than 120 beats per minute - which falls into the aerobic range.
All pregnant women should consult with their doctors before starting any exercise program.
Get all of the details about exercise and pregnancy here.