Does exercise training during pregnancy influence fetal cardiovascular responses to an exercise stimulus?
We assessed the effects of maternal physical activity level on several fetal haemodynamics parameters such as pulsatility index of the fetal middle cerebral (MCA-PI) and umbilical artery (UA-PI), and cerebral to fetal ratio (CPR), as well as on fetal heart rate (FHR) responses to one-bout of moderate exercise (20-min cycle-ergometry at ~60% of age-predicted maximum heart rate) during the third pregnancy trimester. We studied 26 sedentary and 26 physically active gravidae aged 29(3) and 30(2) years respectively. Maternal exercise did not have a deleterious effect on fetal haemodynamics (particularly, CPR remained within normal limits with exercise). Overall, maternal training status did not influence the fetal cardiovascular variables we studied.