Studies have shown that exercise has a positive effect on mothers-to-be. But a new study has found that not only do women benefit from exercise in pregnancy, their fetuses do as well.
Maternal exercise during pregnancy may have a beneficial effect on fetal cardiac programming by reducing fetal heart rate and increasing heart rate variability. Researchers studied fetal heart rates with magnetocardiography (MCG), a safe, non-invasive used method to record the magnetic field surrounding the electrical currents generated by the fetal heart and nervous system.
There were significantly lower heart rates among fetuses that had been exposed to maternal exercise. The heart rates among non-exposed fetuses were higher, regardless of the fetal activity or the gestational age.
* Science Daily April 10, 2008