BACKGROUND: Aerobic exercise during pregnancy has been well established as safe and effective for both mother and infant. Few studies have examined the effects of different exercise modes during pregnancy on infant outcomes. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of exercise mode during pregnancy on 1-month infant neuromotor outcomes. METHODS: Pregnant women were recruited and randomized to either aerobic (AE), resistance (RE), combination (CE), or control (CON) groups. Participants completed 150 min each week of supervised activity. After delivery, 1-month infant neuromotor skills were assessed using the Alberta Infant Motor Scales (AIMs) and Peabody Developmental Motor Scales, 2nd Edition. ANOVAs were used to compare differences between exercise groups; data was stratified by pre-pregnancy BMI (healthy weight, HW vs. overweight-obese, OO) and infant sex (M, F). Regressions assessed predictors of 1-month neuromotor outcomes. RESULTS: Groups were similar in maternal, neonate, and 1-month descriptors. Trends for improved subscores included: AE and RE in Prone (p=.20); CE in Sitting (p=.11); RE in Standing (p=.20) relative to controls. In females (F) from Healthy Weight (HW) women, all exercise types had increased gestational age (p=.03), AE and CE had greater Stationary (p=.17) subscores; in males (M) of HW women, all exercise types had greater Sitting (p=.02) subscores. In F from OO women, AE had greater total AIMs score (p=.20), while AE and RE had greater Stationary (p=.02) Locomotion (p=.06) subscores, as well as GMQ (p=.05) scores; in M of OO women, all exercise with increased height (p=.03) and weight (p=.02), RE with greater Prone (p=.03) and Standing (p=.04) subscores, with greater total AIMS (p=.04) scores. Controlling for other factors, we found significant predictors of 1-month neuromotor scores. Reflex scores were predicted by maternal exercise attendance, pre-pregnancy activity, fitness level, ethnicity, infant sex and body fat. Stationary scores were predicted by exercise mode, pre-pregnancy activity, baby BMI. GMQ was predicted by maternal exercise mode, race, delivery type, pre-pregnancy activity, BMI, and 1-month body fat. CONCLUSION: Maternal exercise mode or attendance, and infant body fat influences 1-month neuromotor skills. There are differences in 1-month neuromotor outcomes based on infant sex as well as maternal pre-pregnancy BMI. Further research is needed to understand this.

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