Tell us more about yourself and the author team.
We are part of the Integrated Platform for Research in Advancing Metabolic Health Outcomes in Women and Children (IPRAMHO) Exercise in Pregnancy Committee. We are a team of clinicians with the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore, the only tertiary public hospital in Singapore, providing excellent healthcare services for women and children.
We are maternal-fetal medicine specialists, namely,
Dr Ryan Lee, an associate consultant in the Department of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore. His research interests lie in evaluating lifestyle interventions such as diet and exercise in women with gestational diabetes mellitus and analysing epidemiological outcomes among metabolic diseases in women.
Prof Tan Lay Kok, Head and Senior consultant in the Department of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore. His research interests lie in improving clinical outcomes of obstetric medical disorders among high-risk pregnant women.
Prof Tan Kok Hian, Head of Perinatal Audit & Epidemiology and Senior consultant in the Department of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore. His research interests are in improving health outcomes for women by creating new ways of predicting, assessing and reducing adverse risk factors and improving outcomes of metabolic diseases in women.
What is the story behind your study?
We formed a team of physicians, allied health professionals and researchers, focusing on the metabolic health of women and children. In particular, areas in diabetes and obesity are our main focus. Our research focus and collaborative efforts are part of the IPRAMHO, established in 2016. We aim to develop excellent models of metabolic care to reduce obesity and diabetes in women and children.
In your own words, what did you find?
Previously, there is no consensus recommendation on the role of physical activity and exercise in pregnancy and the postpartum period in the Asia-Pacific region. Many Asian pregnant women are afraid of performing exercise during pregnancy, and most Asian health care professionals are reticent in providing advice on exercise in pregnancy. Thus, in the paper, we presented seven key consensus recommendations on physical activity and exercise in pregnancy and the postpartum period by key members representing 10 countries in Asia-Pacific regions. Through these consensus recommendations, we hope to improve the metabolic health of pregnant women living in Asia-Pacific regions by educating the public and guiding healthcare professionals on the safety and importance of physical exercise and activity. This will benefit pregnant women and after childbirth, in the Asia Pacific region if many follow and adopt these recommendations.
What was the main challenge you faced in your study?
Achieving a consensus amongst the experts and finalising the consensus statements to be published to recommend physical activity and exercise for pregnant women.
If there is one take-home message from your study, what would that be?
Exercise is beneficial and encouraged during pregnancy. It enhances the physical and emotional well-being of pregnant women, thus reducing excessive weight gain. This helps to reduce the chance of developing gestational diabetes and its related pregnancy complications, including macrosomia and therefore increases the chance of having a normal delivery. Healthy pregnant women should be encouraged to remain physically active during their pregnancy.