Even 20 minutes of moderate exercise a few times per week during pregnancy enhances the newborn child's brain development, according to a new paper.
In the past, obstetricians would tell women to take it easy and rest during their pregnancy. Now it is now commonly accepted that too much inactivity is more of a health concern and so for women not at risk of losing a pregnancy, some exercise is recommended. And it may have a benefit for the baby as well.
"Given that exercise has been demonstrated to be beneficial for the adult's brain, we hypothesized that it could also be beneficial for the unborn child through the mother's actions," says study co-author Professor Daniel Curnier of the University of Montreal.