Document Type

Article

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

1.6 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Abstract

Objective

Evidence on the impact of leisure time physical activity (LTPA) in pregnancy on birth size is inconsistent. We aimed to examine the association between LTPA during early and late pregnancy and newborn anthropometric outcomes.

Design

Individual level meta‐analysis, which reduces heterogeneity across studies.

Setting

A consortium of eight population‐based studies (seven European and one US) comprising 72 694 participants.

Methods

Generalised linear models with consistent inclusion of confounders (gestational age, sex, parity, maternal age, education, ethnicity, BMI, smoking, and alcohol intake) were used to test associations between self‐reported LTPA at either early (8–18 weeks gestation) or late pregnancy (30+ weeks) and the outcomes. Results were pooled using random effects meta‐analyses.

Main outcome measures

Birth weight, large‐for‐gestational age (LGA), macrosomia, small‐for‐gestational age (SGA), % body fat, and ponderal index at birth.

Results

Late, but not early, gestation maternal moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), vigorous activity, and LTPA energy expenditure were modestly inversely associated with BW, LGA, macrosomia, and ponderal index, without heterogeneity (all: I2 = 0%). For each extra hour/week of MVPA, RR for LGA and macrosomia were 0.97 (95% CI: 0.96, 0.98) and 0.96 (95% CI: 0.94, 0.98), respectively. Associations were only modestly reduced after additional adjustments for maternal BMI and gestational diabetes. No measure of LTPA was associated with risk for SGA.

Conclusions

Physical activity in late, but not early, pregnancy is consistently associated with modestly lower risk of LGA and macrosomia, but not SGA.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.15542.

Included in

Biology Commons

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