Background: To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of water aerobics during pregnancy.
Methods: A randomized controlled trial carried out in 71 low-risk sedentary pregnant women, randomly allocated to water aerobics or no physical exercise. Maternal body composition and perinatal outcomes were evaluated. For statistical analysis Chi-square, Fisher's or Student's t-tests were applied. Risk ratios and their 95% CI were estimated for main outcomes. Body composition was evaluated across time using MANOVA or Friedman multiple analysis.
Results: There were no significant differences between the groups regarding maternal weight gain, BMI or percentage of body fat during pregnancy. Incidence of preterm births (RR = 0.84; 95%CI:0.28-2.53), vaginal births (RR = 1.24; 95%CI:0.73-2.09), low birthweight (RR = 1.30; 95%CI:0.61-2.79) and adequate weight for gestational age (RR = 1.50; 95%CI:0.65-3.48) were also not significantly different between groups. There were no significant differences in systolic and diastolic blood pressure and heart rate between before and immediately after the water aerobics session.
Conclusion: Water aerobics for sedentary pregnant women proved to be safe and was not associated with any alteration in maternal body composition, type of delivery, preterm birth rate, neonatal well-being or weight.