Objective: Our purpose was to test the hypothesis that continuing regular exercise throughout pregnancy alters morphometric and neurodevelopmental outcome at 1 year.
Study design: The offspring of 52 women who exercised were compared with those of 52 control subjects who were similar in terms of multiple prenatal and postnatal variables known to influence outcome. All women were enrolled before pregnancy and had clinically normal antenatal and postnatal courses. Neurodevelopment was assessed by blinded examiners at 1 year of age, and morphometrics were obtained at birth and at 1 year of age.
Results: At birth, the offspring of the exercising women weighed less (3.38 +/- 0.06 kg vs 3.58 +/- 0.07 kg) and had less body fat (9.5% +/- 0.8% vs 12.6% +/- 0.6%). However, at 1 year, all morphometric parameters were similar, and no clinically significant between-group differences were observed in performance on either the Bayley psychomotor (108 +/- 1 vs 101 +/- 2) or mental (120 +/- 1 vs 118 +/- 1) scales.
Conclusions: These data indicate that the offspring of exercising mothers have normal growth and development during the first year of life.