Physical activity in pregnancy and its impact on duration of labor and postpartum period
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Department of Kinesiology Chair of Physiotherapy, School of Health Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, School of Health Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
Department of Physiotherapy Chair of Physiotherapy, School of Health Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
Department of Women’s Disease Control and Prevention, School of Health Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
Department of Adapted Physical Activity and Sport Chair of Physiotherapy, School of Health Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
Corresponding author
Anna Monika Brzęk   

PhD, PT, Department of Kinesiology Chair of Physiotherapy, School of Health Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland, ul. Medyków 12, 40-754 Katowice, tel. +48 32 208 87 21
Ann. Acad. Med. Siles. 2016;70:256-264
The aim of the work was to assess the level of physical activity of women before and during pregnancy and to determine whether physical exercise influences the course and duration of labor and the postpartum period.

Material and methods:
The study encompassed 63 pregnant women aged 19–36, with a mean pregnancy weight gain of 7–27 kg, no contraindication to physical activity, and term birth. Physical activity was assessed at three stages: before and during pregnancy, and during the postpartum period, with the use of the seven-day international IPAQ questionnaire. The respondents’ physical condition in the postpartum period was assessed with an original 26-item questionnaire.

The self-assessed level of physical activity before pregnancy was moderate in most respondents (60.3%); only 12.7% of the respondents declared a low level of physical activity. During pregnancy the level of physical activity decreased in 25.4% of the respondents and significantly reduced in 11%. Women who were inactive before pregnancy remained inactive during pregnancy. The mean duration of the second stage of labor in women with moderate and high levels of physical activity was 43.61 min. The length of the entire postpartum period was the shortest (four weeks) in active women.

Physical activity before and during pregnancy has an impact on the duration of labor and the postpartum period.

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