Pregnancy roundup: epilepsy, exercise, incontinence 5

Pregnant Woman Massaging Oil on Her Stomach

A trio of pregnancy-related health topics hit the headlines last week. Here’s a roundup.

Drinking during pregnancy increases epilepsy risk

According to research from the University of New Mexico’s Department of Neurosciences, children of mothers who drink during their pregnancy are six times more likely to suffer from epilepsy as they grow older, with an increased risk of at least one seizure at some point during their lives.

This adds to a growing body of study that indicates connections between drinking during pregnancy and rates of alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, Parkinson’s Disease and stroke, and while it’s important to note that there’s no direct cause-effect here, it’s definitely something worth considering.


Exercising mothers give birth to lighter babies

Women who exercise while pregnant gave birth to babies on average a third of a pound lighter than those of women who didn’t.

By ‘exercise’, we’re talking about the equivalent of daily 40-minute stationary cycling sessions, maintained until at least the 36th week of pregnancy.

Dr Paul Hofman who led the study said: “Our findings show that regular aerobic exercise alters the maternal environment in some way that has an impact on nutrient stimulation of fetal growth, resulting in a reduction in offspring birth weight. Given that large birth size is associated with increased risk of obesity, a modest reduction in birthweight may have long-term health benefits for offspring by lowering this risk later in life.”


Incontinence during pregnancy ups risk afterwards

Women who experience any kind of incontinence during pregnancy are more likely than other women to have the problem after giving birth.

Unsurprisingly, natural childbirth carried a higher risk than those who had a caesarian section.


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