Pregnancy study

Would you like to contribute to research during the time of pregnancy?

Can physical activity during pregnancy improve mother and baby blood vessel health?

Your heart and blood vessels are responsible for transporting nutrients and oxygen around your body. During pregnancy, they have to work much harder as they need to get blood to you and your growing baby, so it is very important that they are kept healthy. Being physically active is one way to improve the health of your heart and blood vessels. We know that being active during pregnancy can reduce the risk of pregnancy complications like diabetes and high blood pressure, and can help to stop excessive weight gain. Pregnancy activity can also be good for the baby. We would like to test whether being active during pregnancy can improve mum and baby’s heart and blood vessel health.

Who can take part?

To take part in the study, you must be:

  • A healthy pregnant female
  • Carrying only one baby
  • Free of current cardiovascular disease, gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia, and have no history of these conditions
  • Aged 18-45 years
  • Not on medication
  • A non-smoker for at least six months
  • Participating in structured exercise less than twice/week
  • BMI less than 35kg/m2

What is required of me in order to take part?

If you agree to take part, you will visit our lab on four occasions during your pregnancy. During each visit you will have a number of tests done to assess how healthy your blood vessels are, your fitness and your body weight. After you have given birth, we will also collect relevant information from your medical notes at the hospital about your labour. If you would like to participate in an exercise intervention following your initial visit, this option is available to you. This would involve exercising three times per week for up to 30 minutes. During this time you will have contact with the research team once a week and will be provided with a local gym pass for the study duration.

Further information

To find out more about this study, take a look at the participant information sheet.