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Pregnancy Timeline by SemestersFetal liver is producing blood cellsHead may position into pelvisBrain convolutions beginFull TermWhite fat begins to be madeWhite fat begins to be madeHead may position into pelvisImmune system beginningImmune system beginningPeriod of rapid brain growthBrain convolutions beginLungs begin to produce surfactantSensory brain waves begin to activateSensory brain waves begin to activateInner Ear Bones HardenBone marrow starts making blood cellsBone marrow starts making blood cellsBrown fat surrounds lymphatic systemFetal sexual organs visibleFinger and toe prints appearFinger and toe prints appearHeartbeat can be detectedHeartbeat can be detectedBasic Brain Structure in PlaceThe Appearance of SomitesFirst Detectable Brain WavesA Four Chambered HeartBeginning Cerebral HemispheresFemale Reproductive SystemEnd of Embryonic PeriodEnd of Embryonic PeriodFirst Thin Layer of Skin AppearsThird TrimesterSecond TrimesterFirst TrimesterFertilizationDevelopmental Timeline
CLICK ON weeks 0 - 40 and follow along every 2 weeks of fetal development
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Home | Pregnancy Timeline | News Alerts |News Archive Oct 28, 2013

 

Structure of the RNA-tagging machinery shows that only one pair
of proteins (blue) can add tags to the RNA (red) at a time.

Credit: EMBL/Carlomagno







WHO Child Growth Charts

 

 

 

Exercise in pregnancy improves baby's vascular system as adult

Exercise during gestation has the potential to program vascular health in offspring into their adulthood, in particular significantly altering the vascular smooth muscle.

Published 25 October in the journal Experimental Physiology.

The current guidelines for pregnant women recommend thirty minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most if not all days of the week. Unfortunately, not all physicians are yet convinced that exercise is beneficial for both the pregnant women and their offspring.

The results of this study provide evidence that maternal exercise during pregnancy is a powerful programming stimulus in the arteries of the offspring and that this programming may have implications for future cardiovascular disease susceptibility of the offspring.

Previous studies only focused on offspring at an early age, so this study is the first to demonstrate the effects of exercise on adult offspring.

Dr Sean Newcomer, of California State University San Marcos USA, and Dr Bahls, of Universitätsmedizin Greifswald Germany say:

"Our study was the first to demonstrate that maternal exercise during pregnancy significantly impacts vascular function in adult offspring."

"A second important aspect of the findings in our study is that previous research identified the endothelium, which is the single-cell layer lining all blood vessels, to be susceptible to foetal-programming interventions. Contrarily, we show that the vascular smooth muscle was significantly altered in adult offspring from exercise trained mothers."

The research took place in pigs as they have human-like responses to physical activity and can be trained to complete exercise regimens, whilst avoiding the time and ethical constraints of long-term studies in humans.

Drs Newcomer and Bahls explain how they carried out the research:

"Swine are considered a superior animal model for cardiovascular studies compared to rodents. Pregnant swine were treadmill exercised for 20-45 minutes for five days a week, which is consistent with American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) recommendations. We assessed vascular function in offspring femoral arteries using in vitro techniques."

Future research, especially in humans, is essential to not only improve biological understanding of how exercise during pregnancy alters adult offspring health, but also to ensure evidence-based guidelines for pregnant women.

Drs Newcomer and Bahls say:

"We are only starting to understand how exercise during gestation influences offspring adult health and disease. Results like ours may help to create guidelines enabling women to make the best decisions for them and their children by providing evidence based health choices.

"Physical activity may act through multiple pathways which depend on type, duration, intensity and frequency of the exercise regimen. Furthermore, it is essential that future research investigates the coronary circulation and also establishes what impact these reported changes in vascular function in the offspring have on cardiovascular disease susceptibility."

Original press release:http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-10/w-edp102313.php