Consequences of Preeclampsia (PE) for Offspring do not Increase with the Introduction of a Walking Intervention During Pregnancy
Exercise in pregnancy
Effects of exercise on health of fetus
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Nursing Honors Theses; 2017
Preeclampsia (PE), a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, has adverse consequences for pregnant women who experience the disorder and for their offspring. Infants born to women with PE are of lower birth weight due to prematurity. Additionally, PE has a 20% reoccurrence rate—creating a need for further research and intervention. A clinical trial was conducted in which pregnant women who had PE in a previous pregnancy were randomized to a walking intervention (n=42) or to an attention-control group (n=46). The trial’s goal was to reduce the recurrence of preeclampsia; however, there were no differences in the rate of reoccurrence of preeclampsia for those randomized to walking compared to controls. The purpose of our secondary analysis is to (1) examine the infant birth weight born to women with or without PE recurrence relative to other known PE risk factors, and (2) explore the effects of the walking intervention on birth weight. Eighty-eight women were included in the clinical trial, with 79 (89.7%) women experiencing no reoccurring PE and 9 (10.2%) women experiencing a reoccurrence of PE. Infants born to women with PE were born earlier (36.33 ±0.98 weeks compared to 38.53 ± 0.18 weeks in uncomplicated pregnancy, p=0.003) and had a lower birth weight (2660.75 grams ± 3469.16 ± 56.30 in uncomplicated pregnancy, p=0.04). Furthermore, there was a significant correlation between weeks gestation at birth and birth weight (r=0.72, p=.00), indicating that the weights were appropriate for gestational age and consistent with expectations. This study demonstrates that the walking intervention did not have detrimental effects on offspring. The benefits of exercise on the mother’s health and wellbeing cannot be understated. Although the overall results of this trial were negative in preventing PE, a larger trial testing other forms of exercise might be warranted.
Academic Major: Nursing
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