According to a recent meta-analysis report, pregnant women willing for a vaginal birth can take charge of their delivery by eating healthy and exercising during gestation. The study was published in the journal The BMJ on July 19.

The report says, “Weight gain during pregnancy is healthy until you do not put on excessive weight. Too much weight gain affects both the mother and the unborn child negatively.”

In the United States, C-Sections are epidemic. 1 of every 3 would-be mothers undergoes cesarean delivery. Earlier, researchers estimated, half of these cases are medically not necessary.

A previously conducted data on global basis shows half of the women in their childbearing age suffer from obesity. This gestational weight gain puts both mother and her offspring at several medical risk.

In the present study, experts say, weight gain during pregnancy can put mothers to the risk of preeclampsia and increase the chances of C-Section. As already known, this process is riskier and more complicated than vaginal delivery.

Cesarean deliveryAgain, expecting mothers putting on weight can also increase the chances of baby’s high birth weight. The child is likely to suffer from obesity, high blood pressure and other medical issues in his/her childhood.

Data of 12,500+ pregnant women who participated in 36 previously conducted research work were collected and analyzed to get the findings of this latest study. Around 45% of the participants conceived for the first time.

Those who were put on a healthy diet and proper physical activity reportedly gained 1.5 lbs. less weight compared to those who didn’t follow these healthy behaviors. They also had 10% lesser chance of C-Section compared to the other half.

According to a professor from the team, “Considering the fact if pregnant women follow the two keys – exercise and healthy diet, out of every 40 mother, probably only 1 will end up with a C-section. The rest are likely to have a vaginal delivery, if their individual medical conditions support them.”

This research and analysis were led by a network of 50+ researchers, the International Weight Management in Pregnancy Collaborative Group. They are working on weight management interventions, specifically for would-be mothers. In their latest report, analysts considered effects of exercise and diet during gestation on both mother and child.

They suggested, “Doctors should inform patients the importance of safe physical activities during gestation. Women must understand the harmful impact of not doing exercises.” An active mother can give a healthy birth.