Regular Maternal Exercise Dose and Fetal Heart Outcome

Department of Anatomy & Physiology, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Kansas City, MO 64106, USA.
Medicine and science in sports and exercise (Impact Factor: 3.98). 01/2012; 44(7):1252-8. DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318247b324
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Our previous research found lower fetal HR and increased HR variability (HRV) in women who exercised during pregnancy. This finding is similar to the adult heart training response at rest due to aerobic exercise. Dose-response associations have been found between physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness in adults. Therefore, our objective was to determine whether there is a dose-response relationship between maternal physical activity and fetal HR, HRV, and sympathovagal balance.
Pregnant women completed a physical activity questionnaire and magnetocardiogram (magnetic correlate to ECG) recordings at 36-wk gestational age. Women reported the duration, intensity, and frequency of each activity for each month of pregnancy as well as 3 months before pregnancy. These values were used to calculate maternal physical activity measures for each participant. Relationships between fetal HR, HRV, and sympathovagal balance at 36-wk gestational age and maternal physical activity (n = 50 pairs) during the third trimester were assessed by Spearman correlations. Regression analysis was performed to further examine these relationships after controlling for maternal and fetal covariates (maternal age, maternal resting HR, maternal weight gain, prepregnancy body mass index (BMI), and fetal activity state).
The regression analyses showed that maternal physical activity intensity (kcal·min(-1)) was negatively associated with HR in the active fetal state (P < 0.05), and physical activity duration (minutes during the third trimester) was positively associated with fetal HRV (P < 0.05). There were no statistically significant relationships with maternal physical activity on measures of fetal sympathovagal balance.
Maternal physical activity dose during the third trimester is associated with resting fetal heart effects similar to a trained response. Future studies on the health benefits of this fetal response are highly warranted.

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Available from: Linda E May, Nov 09, 2015
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    • "We will discuss the effects of prenatal stress and malnutrition (over and undernutrition) on perinatal programming of the neuroendocrine stress response (hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal [HPA] axis), stress-sensitive brain regions and the immune system and how this might influence neurodevelopment (Jansson and Powell, 2007; Lupien et al., 2009; Palmer, 2011; PrabhuDas et al., 2011; Breton, 2013; O'Connor et al., 2013; Reynold, 2013; Lin and Wang, 2014; Rook et al., 2014). We will also discuss the main maternal health benefits of regular physical activity during pregnancy (Pivarnik et al., 1993; Genest et al., 2012; Prather et al., 2012; Robledo- Colonia et al., 2012; Ruchat et al., 2012), as well as its impact on the fetus and infant (e.g., reduced fat mass and short-term neurodevelopment benefits) (Brenner et al., 1993; Clapp, 1996; Clapp et al., 1998; Clapp et al., 2000; San Juan Dertkigil et al., 2007; May et al., 2012; Prather et al., 2012). Although regular physical activity/exercise has been shown to promote neuroplasticity (Dishman et al., 2006; Cotman et al., 2007; Knaepen et al., 2010; Hayes et al., 2013) and an anti-inflammatory state (Gleeson et al., 2011; Hamer et al., 2012; Hayes, Hayes et al. 2013) in the adult, there is a paucity of studies evaluating its impact on the CNS and immune system during pregnancy. "

    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014
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    • "We will discuss the effects of prenatal stress and malnutrition (over and under nutrition) on perinatal programming of the neuroendocrine stress response (hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal [HPA] axis), stress-sensitive brain regions and immune system and how this might influence neurodevelopment (Jansson and Powell, 2007; Lupien et al., 2009; Palmer, 2011; PrabhuDas et al., 2011; Breton, 2013; O&apos;Connor et al., 2013; Reynold, 2013; Lin and Wang, 2014; Rook et al., in press). We will also discuss the main maternal health benefits of physical activity during pregnancy (Pivarnik et al., 1993; Genest et al., 2012; Prather et al., 2012; Robledo-Colonia et al., 2012; Ruchat et al., 2012), as well as its impact on the fetus and infant (e.g., reduced fat mass and short-term neurodevelopment benefits) (Brenner et al., 1993; Clapp, 1996; Clapp et al., 1998; Clapp et al., 2000; San Juan Dertkigil et al., 2007; May et al., 2012; Prather et al., 2012). Although regular physical activity/exercise has been shown to promote neuroplasticity (Dishman et al., 2006; Cotman et al., 2007; Knaepen et al., 2010; Hayes et al., 2013) and an anti-inflammatory state (Gleeson et al., 2011; Hamer et al., 2012; Hayes, Hayes et al. 2013) in the adult, there is a paucity of studies evaluating its impact on the CNS and immune system during pregnancy. "
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    ABSTRACT: Communication between maternal-fetal immune systems: development of immune tolerance.•Pathways by which immune dysfunction could contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders.•Effects of prenatal/perinatal stress and immune activity on CNS development/function.•Effects of prenatal/perinatal malnutrition on immune and CNS development/function.•Health benefits of physical activity during pregnancy for mother, fetus and infant.
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    • "We found continuous, aerobic maternal exercise to be associated with lower fetal heart rate (HR) and higher heart rate variability (HRV) at 36 weeks gestational age (GA) [28]. Furthermore , we found fetal HR to be lower as the intensity of maternal physical activity increased while fetal HRV was positively associated with the duration of maternal physical activity [29]. The beat-to-beat variation in the duration of the R–R interval (HRV), has proven to be a useful, noninvasive tool to assess cardiac autonomic function. "
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    ABSTRACT: Previously, we reported that regular maternal aerobic exercise during pregnancy was associated with lower fetal heart rate (HR) and higher heart rate variability (HRV) at 36weeks gestation. We now report the effect of maternal exercise on infant HR and HRV in subjects who remained active in the study at the one-month follow up visit. We aimed to determine whether differences in fetal cardiac autonomic control related to maternal physical activity were an in utero phenomenon or would persist 1month after birth. Magnetocardiograms (MCGs) of infants born to regularly exercising (≥30min of aerobic activity, 3 times per week; N=16) and non-exercising (N=27) pregnant women were recorded using a fetal biomagnetometer. Normal R-peaks were marked to derive infant HR and HRV in time and frequency domains, including the root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD), the standard deviation of normal-to-normal interbeat intervals (SDNN), and power in the low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) bands. Group differences were examined with Student's t-tests. Infants born to exercising women had significantly higher RMSSD (P=0.010), LF power (P=0.002), and HF power (P=0.004) than those born to women who did not engage in regular physical activity while pregnant. Infants born to women who participated in regular physical activity during pregnancy continued to have higher HRV in the infant period. This suggests that the developing cardiac autonomic nervous system is sensitive to the effects of maternal physical activity and is a target for fetal programming.
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