Effect of antenatal exercises on pulmonary functions and labour outcome in uncomplicated primigravida women: a randomized controlled study

Pooja Jain, Himsweta Srivastava, Neerja Goel, Farah Khaliq, Pooja Dewan, Renu Sharma, Vishnu Bhartiya


Background: Physical fitness could influence pulmonary functions, labour and neonatal outcomes in pregnancy. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of antenatal exercises on pulmonary functions and labour outcomes.

Methods: Study included 122 uncomplicated primigravida in age group of 18-35 years at 24th - 28th week of gestation were randomly allocated into study and control groups. Antenatal exercises were performed by study group for a minimum of 3 days a week for 20 minute duration till their delivery. Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) were done for all subjects at 24th week of gestation and after 36th week of gestation.

Results: A significant improvement in FEV1, FVC, FEF25-75%, MEF50%, MIF50% and MVV between 24 & 36 weeks was observed in the study group after exercises. In study group 85.24% patients had spontaneous onset of labour, 14.8% patients had induction of labour as compared to 75.4% and 24.6% respectively in control group, however statistically insignificant. In the study group 41.67% patients did not require augmentation compared to 22.95% in the control group. In study group 13.11% patients had meconium stained liquor which was significantly less in comparison to 41% patients in the control group. Mean duration of first, second and third stage of labour was shorter in study group than control group. In study group 96.72% had normal and none had instrumental vaginal delivery compared to 88.52% and 6.6% from control group respectively. Caesarean section rate was 3.3% in study group and 4.9% in control group. APGAR score was normal in all the neonates. Fetal weight gain, birth weight, birth length and head circumference was significantly higher and NICU stay was significantly lesser in study group compared to control group.

Conclusions: Antenatal exercises lead to improvement of pulmonary functions and hence labour and neonatal outcomes



Antenatal exercises; Pulmonary functions; Neonatal outcomes; Labour outcomes

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