Physical Activity Behaviors and Barriers in Multifetal Pregnancy: What to Expect When You're Expecting More

Victoria L. Meah, Morgan C. Strynadka, Rshmi Khurana, Margie H. Davenport
2021 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health  
The health benefits of prenatal physical activity (PA) are established for singleton pregnancies. In contrast, individuals with multifetal pregnancies (twins, triplets or more) are recommended to restrict or cease PA. The objectives of the current study were to determine behaviors and barriers to PA in multifetal pregnancies. Between 29 May and 24 July 2020, individuals with multifetal pregnancies participated in an online survey. Of the 415 respondents, there were 366 (88%) twin, 45 (11%)
more » ... et and 4 (1%) quadruplet pregnancies. Twenty-seven percent (n = 104/388) of respondents completed no PA at all during pregnancy, 57% (n = 220/388) completed PA below current recommendations, and 16% (n = 64/388) achieved current recommendations (150-min per week of moderate-intensity activity). Most respondents (n = 314/363 [87%]) perceived barriers to PA during multifetal pregnancy. The most prominent were physical symptoms (n = 204/363 [56%]) and concerns about risks to fetal wellbeing (n = 128/363 [35%]). Sixty percent (n = 92/153) felt that these barriers could be overcome but expressed the need for evidence-based information regarding PA in multifetal pregnancy. Individuals with multifetal pregnancies have low engagement with current PA recommendations but remain physically active in some capacity. There are physical and psychosocial barriers to PA in multifetal pregnancy and future research should focus on how these can be removed.
doi:10.3390/ijerph18083907 pmid:33917800 fatcat:6bv33df56jbkplc4umt7wjlzai