Fetal Heart Rate Response to Maternal Exercise

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Current guidelines regarding recommended exercise in pregnancy appear consistent with reported research regarding fetal heart changes in response to maternal exercise. Fetal heart rate increases during pregnancy, but maternal exercise appears well tolerated if performed in uncomplicated pregnancies and not in the supine position. Maximal levels of exercise that are well tolerated by the fetus have not yet been well defined; however, recent literature suggests that sustained exercise during pregnancy may have beneficial effects on autonomic control of fetal heart rate and variability that may lead to long-term health benefits.

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