Effectiveness and safety of a structured swimming program in previously sedentary women during pregnancy

A-M. Lynch, S. Mcdonald, Pat Magann, Sharon Evans, P.L. Choy, Brian Dawson, Brian Blanksby, John Newnham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine whether undertaking a swimming program in sedentary women duringpregnancy would improve maternal fitness without adverse fetal consequences.Methods: Prospective observational investigation of healthy sedentary pregnant women participatingin a monitored swimming program.Results: Twenty-three women attended swimming sessions from 16 to 28 weeks of gestationresulting in increasing distances swum and improved aerobic fitness as measured by physical workcapacity (PWC170) (p = 0.003). Resting maternal heart rate decreased (p = 0.041) and restingsystolic (p = 0.092) and diastolic (p = 0.971) blood pressures remained unchanged over gestation.The mean fetal heart rates decreased with advancing gestational age (p = 0.001), consistent withnormal physiology. Non-stress tests and umbilical artery systolic/diastolic ratios were similar beforeand after swimming sessions, providing evidence that fetal well-being was unchanged.Conclusions: A structured swimming program in sedentary pregnant women increases maternalfitness without any alteration in maternal and fetal well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-169
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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