Does exercising during pregnancy make babies smarter?

Media outlets have continued to publish reports that pregnant mums that regularly take part in exercise will have a smarter baby. For obvious reasons people love the idea because anything they can do to help increase the intelligence of their child is an instant hit. However, most people do not know the actual statistics behind the study.

Researchers took a group of women that were all within their first trimester and assigned different levels of exercise to the group. One group was told to moderately exercise for twenty minutes at least three times a week and the other group was told not to exercise. About eight to 12 days after birth the babies from the women had their brain activity measured with an EEG.

The area of amplitude in the EEG was measured to be much smaller in the baby’s that had active moms compared to the women that did not exercise. According to researchers baby’s that have more wave activity also have heightened maturity. In addition, there was more activity in the brain region that controls language and speech. Despite the indications of the study it is important to weigh the fact that only the abstract of the study has been released.

However, there is also concern that a one-off study that only includes a measure of the child’s activity cannot be enough to guarantee that there is a real connection. Despite this fact, there are a few things that are known for sure about exercise and pregnancy. First is the fact that it helps to build a stronger heart and lungs for baby. The second is that regular exercise helps to reduce the potential for several pregnancy problems such as hypertension and diabetes. Finally, mums who work out while pregnant tend to have an easier time losing the baby weight after childbirth.

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