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C-section rates helped by diet and exercise interventions

Diet and physical activity-based interventions during pregnancy reduce odds of excessive gestational weight gain and Caesarean section, according to a new review published in the British Medical Journal.

The findings suggest diet and exercise advice should be a routine part of antenatal care, a BMJ press release says, because ‘benefits were consistent regardless of age, ethnicity, body mass and underlying medical conditions’.

Both maternal obesity and excessive weight gain in pregnancy put mother and infant at risk, in pregnancy and in later life, the press release says.

Interventions included access to a dietitian, specific antenatal classes for advice on diet and lifestyle, or structured exercise of moderate intensity such as aerobic classes or stationary cycling.

First published: September 2017