Women in sport: Part 2

Pregnancy and exercise are independently associated with significant physiologic and metabolic changes.

It is important to recognize that pregnant women are capable of benefiting from physical activity to a similar extent as nonpregnant women, as the physiological response to physical exertion does not differ significantly compared with the nonpregnant state. 

paula radcliffe pregnant.jpg

World Record holder Paula Radcliffe running at 7 months pregnant

Pregnancy-induced changes in maternal physiology are primarily designed to protect the developing foetus by ensuring that the metabolic demands of both mother and foetus are met. Recent evidence suggests that the foetus is not deprived of substrate during periods of maternal physical activity in the presence of adequate maternal nutrition. This protective effect may be mediated by changes in substrate delivery across the placenta arising from activity- induced alterations in placental form and function.

Simon Bartold
Director of Bartold Clinical