G.G. Stolte, B.W. Magee, C.P. Connolly

Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Perceptions that pregnant women have towards physical activity (PA) appear to affect participation in activity type and intensity. Qualitative findings indicate that past adverse prenatal experiences may elevate pregnant women’s PA concerns regarding the health of the baby. PURPOSE: This study investigated whether PA outcome expectancy differed among pregnant women with past miscarriage or infertility experiences and pregnant women without. The study also examined whether moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) and PA discussion with a healthcare provider (HCP) differed between the two groups. METHODS: Pregnant women (N=497) completed an online survey and answered multiple questions about past pregnancy experiences, current PA perceptions and various behavior-specific PA modalities. These included: walking, light and intense jogging, cycling, swimming, prenatal yoga, aerobic dance, and resistance training. PA outcome expectancy for each modality was assessed on an 11-point Likert scale. Participation in each was defined as PA > 0 min/wk. MVPA was dichotomized as meeting guideline (MVPA ≥150 min/wk) or not. Participants were also asked questions regarding PA discussion with a current HCP. Mann-Whitney U-tests were performed to examine outcome expectancy differences between women with past miscarriage or infertility experiences and those without. Chi-square analyses were conducted to examine differences in meeting MVPA guideline, HCP discussion, and PA modality participation. RESULTS: A total of 170 women (30.5%) reported past miscarriage or infertility experiences. PA outcome expectancy for these women did not significantly differ from women without past adverse prenatal experience for any specific modality of activity. However, women with past miscarriage or infertility experiences were less likely to meet the current MVPA guideline [c2 (1) = 4.32, p=.04]. Participation in specific PA modalities was not significantly greater for women without past adverse prenatal experience, nor was the occurrence of PA discussion with a HCP. CONCLUSION: Pregnant women with past miscarriage or infertility experiences did not perceive PA differently but did perform less MVPA than women without adverse experience. Trimester-specific examinations of PA perception and behavior are needed among this subpopulation.

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