Breanna D. Wisseman1, Christy Isler1, Edward R. Newton1, James DeVente1, Samantha McDonald, FACSM2, Cody Strom3, Linda E. May, FACSM1. 1East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. 2Illinois State University, Normal, IL. 3University of Southern Indiana, Evansville, IN.

BACKGROUND: Although exercise during pregnancy is associated with improved maternal and fetal health, some have cited inherent differences in participants as a reason for improved outcomes. Therefore, the purpose of this analysis is to utilize the strength of a single-subject design to compare differences in pregnancy and birth outcomes between exercise or no exercise intervention. METHODS: This was a secondary analysis to examine pregnant women (n=7) who participated in a randomized controlled trial twice, once they were randomized to 150 minutes/week of exercise and another pregnancy to non-exercising control. Skinfolds were completed at 16- and 36-weeks’ gestation to estimate body fat percentage (BF%). Gestational age, diabetes (GDM) status, mode of delivery, weight gain (GWG), infant heart rate, sex, circumferences, weight, and length were collected via electronic birth records. Ponderal index (PI) and infant body mass index (iBMI) were calculated using standard formulas. RESULTS: Of the 7 women identified as participating in the study twice, 3 were randomized to control group first, while 4 were randomized to the exercise group first. There were no between-group differences in maternal skinfolds or GWG at 36-weeks. There were no differences between groups for BF% and both experienced an increase over time. There were no differences between groups for cases of GDM, mode of delivery, GWG, and infant sex. Although not significant, women tended to deliver closer to their due date in the exercise group. There were no between-group differences in infant heart rate; head, abdominal, or chest circumferences; reflexes; and Apgar scores at delivery. There were trends of higher PI (p= 0.13) and iBMI (p= 0.18) in the exercise-exposed infants relative to their non-exercise exposed siblings. Due to small sample size, there were no significant regression models related to exercise group and pregnancy or birth outcomes. CONCLUSION: Although this is a small sample, it further supports safe pregnancy and birth outcomes in the same women regardless of exercise or not during pregnancy. Furthermore, the potential increase in PI and iBMI of infants exposed to exercise in utero relative to their non-exposed siblings suggests further research is required regarding body compartments (i.e., bone and muscle mass). Thus, future research should examine the effect of maternal exercise on differences in offspring body composition outcomes between exercised and non-exercised siblings. FINANCIAL SUPPORT: This study was partially funded by the American Heart Association (AHA grant #15GRNT24470029) and East Carolina University.

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