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Does exercise training during pregnancy influence fetal cardiovascular responses to an exercise stimulus? Insights from a randomised, controlled trial
  1. R Barakat1,
  2. J R Ruiz2,
  3. G Rodríguez-Romo1,
  4. R Montejo-Rodríguez3,
  5. A Lucia4
  1. 1Facultad de Ciencias de la Actividad Física y del Deporte—INEF, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  2. 2Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Department of Biosciences and Nutrition at NOVUM, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden
  3. 3Servicio de Ginecología y Obstetricia, Hospital de Fuenlabrada, Madrid, Spain
  4. 4Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alejandro Lucia, Universidad Europea de Madrid, 28670 Villaviciosa de Odón, Madrid, Spain; alejandro.lucia{at}


In this study, the effects of maternal physical activity level on several fetal haemodynamic parameters such as pulsatility index of the fetal middle cerebral and umbilical arteries and cerebral-to-fetal ratio, as well as on fetal heart rate responses to one bout of moderate exercise (20 min cycle-ergometry at ∼60% of age-predicted maximum heart rate) during the third pregnancy trimester were assessed. 26 Sedentary and 26 physically active gravidae aged 29 (3) and 30 (2) years, respectively, were studied. Maternal exercise did not have a deleterious effect on fetal haemodynamics (particularly, cerebral-to-fetal ratio remained within normal limits with exercise). Overall, maternal training status did not influence the fetal cardiovascular variables studied.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Hospital Severo Ochoa (Madrid, Spain).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent Obtained.