The Influence of Prenatal Exercise on Offspring Health: A Review

Clin Med Insights Womens Health. 2016 Oct 17;9:37-42. doi: 10.4137/CMWH.S34670. eCollection 2016.


Research has continued to demonstrate that exercise during pregnancy is safe. Growing evidence supports that exercise during pregnancy is beneficial for mother and fetus during gestation, with benefits persisting for the child into adulthood. Regardless of income or socioeconomic status, exercise during pregnancy is associated with increased incidence of full-term delivery. Additionally, normalization of birth measures, such as birth weight, occurs when women perform regular exercise throughout gestation. Measures of growth and development further indicate that exercise during pregnancy does not harm and may stimulate healthy growth throughout childhood. Measures of cognition and intelligence demonstrate that exercise during pregnancy causes no harm and may be beneficial. Overall, the benefits of exercise during pregnancy decrease the risk of chronic disease for both mother and child.

Keywords: childhood; health outcomes; physical activity/exercise; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review