Date

March 2018

Start Date

9-3-2018 8:00 AM

Document Type

Poster

Description

The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that exercise should be encouraged in women with uncomplicated pregnancies. Potential benefits of exercise include a decreased incidence of medical complications of pregnancy, including gestational diabetes and preterm labor. Additional benefits include decreased incidence of excessive maternal weight gain, cesarean sections and low birthweight of the newborn. The Massachusetts' rate of gestational diabetes was 4.7% in 2015 with 7.8% babies being born at low birth weight and 8.6% born preterm statewide. The aim of this project was to evaluate the availability of structured exercise programs tailored specifically to pregnant women, as a lack of options may limit a woman's ability to benefit from the health-protective effects of exercise during pregnancy. A telephone survey was conducted in 2017 to gather information about exercise programs available to pregnant women at YMCAs across Massachusetts. YMCAs were chosen because of their accessibility, affordability and history of health-centered initiatives. Our analysis revealed that of the 73 Massachusetts YMCA facilities contacted; only three indicated a specific class for prenatal exercise. Two offered prenatal yoga and the other a stretching class. This study revealed that easily accessible options for exercise tailored to pregnant women are currently limited at YMCA facilities in Massachusetts. This may reflect an overall limitation of exercise options for pregnant women. Further investigation regarding the specific barriers women face when attempting to exercise during pregnancy may provide valuable insight into how community organizations can help maximize the number of women who partake in exercise during pregnancy.

Keywords

obstetrics, gynecology, exercise, pregnancy, gestational diabetes, YMCA

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Mar 9th, 8:00 AM

Evaluation of the accessibility of structured exercise programs for pregnant women: An analysis of offerings at the YMCAs of Massachusetts

The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that exercise should be encouraged in women with uncomplicated pregnancies. Potential benefits of exercise include a decreased incidence of medical complications of pregnancy, including gestational diabetes and preterm labor. Additional benefits include decreased incidence of excessive maternal weight gain, cesarean sections and low birthweight of the newborn. The Massachusetts' rate of gestational diabetes was 4.7% in 2015 with 7.8% babies being born at low birth weight and 8.6% born preterm statewide. The aim of this project was to evaluate the availability of structured exercise programs tailored specifically to pregnant women, as a lack of options may limit a woman's ability to benefit from the health-protective effects of exercise during pregnancy. A telephone survey was conducted in 2017 to gather information about exercise programs available to pregnant women at YMCAs across Massachusetts. YMCAs were chosen because of their accessibility, affordability and history of health-centered initiatives. Our analysis revealed that of the 73 Massachusetts YMCA facilities contacted; only three indicated a specific class for prenatal exercise. Two offered prenatal yoga and the other a stretching class. This study revealed that easily accessible options for exercise tailored to pregnant women are currently limited at YMCA facilities in Massachusetts. This may reflect an overall limitation of exercise options for pregnant women. Further investigation regarding the specific barriers women face when attempting to exercise during pregnancy may provide valuable insight into how community organizations can help maximize the number of women who partake in exercise during pregnancy.

 

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