Since Laura has a little one at home and Adrienne has a baby on the way, this topic is naturally quite near and dear to our hearts. While it’s important to talk about new research in terms of the full body of science, both of these updates appeal to our common sense and seem to share pretty good messages about mom and baby health – both before and after the little bundles of joy arrive.
As reported in Tara Parker-Pope’s Well blog post (of the NYT), research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that first-time pregnant women who rode exercise bikes for 40 minutes, 5 days a week had babies with lower birth weights – lower birth weights in a good sense, meaning a lower likelihood of having extremely large babies. While the exercise didn’t affect the weight of the mothers or their insulin sensitivity (a factor thought to be linked to baby weight and health), this research supports the concept that regular exercising while pregnant benefits babies without negatively impacting moms. From our personal experience, sometimes even walking a few minutes while pregnant can seem daunting, but exercising in moderation is definitely worth it!
In other baby news, researchers from the journal Pediatrics calculated that, if more mothers breastfed their infants through the first six months of life, it would save roughly 1,000 lives and billions of dollars a year. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization, among other organizations, recommend breastfeeding exclusively for infants the first 6 months of life. Currently, just 14% of moms breastfeed at the 6-month mark. Deaths linked to not breastfeeding included SIDS and pneumonia. While breastfeeding can be tricky and challenging, it’s definitely worth it for your baby!