New research has found that keeping active during pregnancy can reduce the amount of time spent in labour during child birth.
The study followed 508 healthy women throughout their pregnancies. Roughly half the group follower a program of moderate aerobic exercises while the remaining women were instructed to do no exercise. The findings showed that the women who worked out while expecting had a shorter labor.
"A supervised physical exercise programme throughout pregnancy decreased the duration of the first phase of labour as well as total time of the first two phases together, leading to a decrease in total labour time," the researchers explained.
They also discovered that the women who exercised were less likely to need an epidural and neonate macrosomia (when a newborn is significantly larger than average) was more common among the mothers in the "no exercise" group.
Australian government guidelines suggest that there are a number of health benefits for women who exercise during pregnancy, but it’s always advised that women consult their doctor or a healthcare professional before doing so.