Women, who sit down too much while pregnant, risk harming their baby, according to a new study. University of Warwick researchers have identified a link between depression in pregnancy and long periods of sitting down.
The study found that those suffering from symptoms of depression during pregnancy are more likely to sit down for long periods of time in the second trimester. The academics also found this puts them at risk of greater weight gain and contracting gestational diabetes.
Nithya Sukumar, who led the study of more than 1,200 women, presented her findings at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Edinburgh.
She said that pregnant women could benefit from early intervention to improve their physical and mental health and reduce the risks associated with sedentary behaviour. Gestational diabetes can increase the risk of birth complications for the mother and baby and so it is important we minimise this risk by reducing the time that pregnant women spend sitting down.
The research highlights the need to address women’s physical and mental wellbeing from the early stages of pregnancy to help reduce the health risks associated with sedentary behaviour.
Fellow researcher, Ponnusamy Saravanan, noted that they believe reducing the sitting time has the potential to reduce pregnant women’s risk of gestational diabetes and reduce the metabolic risk factors of their newborns.