Publication Date



pregnancy, gestational diabetes, exercise, prevention, maternal health


Excessive weight gain during pregnancy has been on the rise globally, leading to increased prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). A diagnosis of GDM often leads to pregnancy and infant-related complications. Regular exercise may have the potential to prevent GDM. However, evidence surrounding the utility of exercise during pregnancy as an effective risk reduction intervention has been mixed. This clinical inquiry examined the role of regular exercise during pregnancy in preventing GDM in both obese and normal-weight women and analyzed specific aspects of exercise that make it an effective preventive measure. The review of evidence included 3 meta-analyses, 3 systematic reviews, and 1 umbrella review. Findings identified several components of an exercise program that can reduce GDM risk. Specifically, an exercise intervention of 40- to 60-minute sessions 3 times per week beginning as early as possible during pregnancy and continuing with good adherence over the course of pregnancy yielded clinically significant results. Adhering to a similar exercise routine before pregnancy also was shown to be protective against GDM for all women, but especially so for women who are overweight or obese.




October 6th, 2020


January 13th, 2021


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