Exercise can benefit fetus, too

April 7, 2008 2:41:20 PM PDT
Exercise during pregnancy has cardiovascular benefits, not just for the mother but for the developing fetus as well, according to research presented Monday at the American Physiological Society meeting.

The study found that fetuses exposed to maternal exercise had significantly lower heart rates than fetuses not exposed to exercise. At each stage of pregnancy the differences between the average fetal heart rates of the two groups were statistically significant.

Scientists say when mom exercises the unborn baby gets the same type of training effect you would see in an adult, lower heart rate and improvements in the nervous system of the heart.