To Your Health
June, 2022 (Vol. 16, Issue 06)
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Better for Baby

By Editorial Staff

Healthy mom, healthy baby – the perfect combination during pregnancy and after a precious child comes into the world. Unfortunately, the world that child comes into is teeming with health risks, perhaps the most concerning of which is type 2 diabetes.

It's estimated that globally, nearly 500 million people suffer from type 2 diabetes, with poor diet and inactivity the most common causes. What if mom's healthy habits during pregnancy could reduce her child's future risk of developing type 2 diabetes? According to research, they can.

Researchers have discovered that expectant mothers who exercise during pregnancy have offspring with a lower type 2 diabetes risk. This reduced risk is upheld even if the mother is obese or eats a high-fat diet (putting her at risk for type 2 diabetes herself). Why the reduced risk? According to the study, exercise promotes placental secretion of SOD3 (supuroexide dismutase 3), which appears to preserve normal glucose metabolism in the child. Type 2 diabetes results when the body is unable to process glucose (blood sugar) properly, resulting in perpetually elevated glucose levels in the blood. Findings appear in Diabetes, the research journal of the American Diabetes Association.

So, let's recap: Maternal exercise is better for baby because it reduces his/her risk of developing type 2 diabetes. But that's not all; exercise also reduces maternal diabetes risk, which means physical activity during pregnancy really does help promote a healthy mom, healthy baby.