Exercise for diabetic pregnant women
Diabetes in pregnancy may result in unfavourable maternal and neonatal outcomes. Exercise was proposed as an additional strategy to improve glycaemic control. The effect of exercise during pregnancies complicated by diabetes needs to be assessed. To evaluate the effect of exercise programs, alone or in conjunction with other therapies, compared to no specific program or to other therapies, in pregnant women with diabetes on perinatal and maternal morbidity and on the frequency of prescription of insulin to control glycaemia. To compare the effectiveness of different types of exercise programs on perinatal and maternal morbidity. We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (31 December 2005). All known randomised controlled trials evaluating the effect of exercise in diabetic pregnant women on perinatal outcome and maternal morbidity. We evaluated relevant studies for meeting the inclusion criteria and methodological quality. Three review authors abstracted the data. For all data analyses, we entered data based on the principle of intention to treat. We calculated relative risks and 95% confidence intervals for dichotomous data. Four trials, involving 114 pregnant women with gestational diabetes, were included in the review. None included pregnant women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Women were recruited during the third trimester and the intervention was performed for about six weeks. The programs generally consisted in exercising three times a week for 20 to 45 minutes. We found no significant difference between exercise and the other regimen in all the outcomes evaluated. There is insufficient evidence to recommend, or advise against, diabetic pregnant women to enrol in exercise programs. Further trials, with larger sample size, involving women with gestational diabetes, and possibly type 1 and 2 diabetes, are needed to evaluate this intervention.