According to UK researchers, moderate exercise can help women avoid gaining excess weight during their pregnancy. Dr Kristy Elliot-Sale from Nottingham Trent University who led the review said that weight gain exceeding the appropriate amount has implications for both mothers and infants, and contributes to postpartum weight retention.

She and her colleagues reviewed the results of three research studies that compared exercise programs to regular care during pregnancy, and two studies done during the year following pregnancy. The researchers found that, on an average, women who exercised during their pregnancies gained about five pounds less than their counterparts who didn’t exercise.

Dr Mary Rosser who wasn’t involved in the study stated that excessive weight gain during pregnancy and weight retention between pregnancies is becoming more common. She added that doctors are seeing more women who are overweight before ever getting pregnant. Excessive weight gain could increase the risk of more complicated pregnancies, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes

It is necessary for women to know the importance of exercise during pregnancy. Rosser advises women to talk to their obstetricians about the kinds of activities that are safe. Brisk walking is a good way to start.

Content modified from Shereen Lehman’s post on Reuters.