It is well known that eating a healthy diet and exercising during pregnancy is good for the developing baby. But a new analysis of 36 studies including a total of more than 12,500 women suggests these behaviors are also good for mom. They can lower her chances of having a Cesarean-section delivery or developing diabetes while pregnant.
Overall, healthy habits reduced the risk of needing a C-section by about 10 percent, said study author Shakila Thangaratinam, a professor of maternal and perinatal health at Queen Mary University of London. A healthy lifestyle also reduced a woman’s risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy, known as gestational diabetes, by 24 percent, the findings, published in the journal BMJ, showed.
The researcher suggests that a healthy diet includes eating more fiber, more fish and olive oil, and no sugary drinks. Thangaratinam recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, with aerobic exercise and two muscle-strengthening sessions.