Maternal obesity and babies heart disease link.....

4th June 2013


 (January 2014) Exercise makes brainy babies...

Women who exercise during pregnancy have been shown to have babies with more developed brains.

The Daily Telegraph recently reported on research carried out by the university of Montreal in Canada.

Eighteen expectant mothers at the start of their 2nd trimester were randomly divided into seperate groups; the 'exercise group' and the 'sedentary group'.Thos mothers in the exercise group did 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times a week to the intensity where they were 'slightly out of breath'.


When brain activity was monitered once the babies were 8-10 days old, those babies with mothers in the exercise group had more mature cerebral responses; indicating that their brains had developed more rapidly in utero.

Study leader Proffessor Dave Ellemberg said he hoped the findings would encourage women to adopt healthier habits in pregnancy

"given that the simple act of exercisin could make a difference to their childs future" 


 Alison Comments...

Yet again we have more evidence based research as to how valuable, positive and important healthy exercise habits are in pregnancy. 

So why dont ALL pregnant women exercise?? Probably because they are unsure about what exercise is safe, which is why Bloomingfit is SO important, so please spread the word and help promote healthier exercise for all pregnant mums out there.



 (June 2013) Maternal obesity & babies heart disease link.... 



A small but significant new study has found that babies born to overweight or obese mothers often show early signs of heart disease.

Researchers at the Universities of Melbourne and Sydney in Australia looked at babies born to 23 women with an average age of 35 to see whether the walls of their aorta - the body's major artery - were thickened.

They found that the higher a woman's weight, the greater the thickness of her baby's two innermost artery walls, regardless of the infant's own weight.

This is an important finding, as arterial thickening is a sign of heart disease.

Publishing their results in the Fetal and Neonatal Edition of the Archives of Disease in Childhood, the researchers say the finding may explain why children born to obese mothers face an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in the future.

'The earliest physical signs of atherosclerosis are present in the abdominal aorta, and aortic intima-media thickness is considered the best non-invasive measure of structural health of the vasculature in children,' they concluded.

Amy Thompson, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said the findings suggest a 'direct link' between a mother's weight during pregnancy and her children's risk of cardiovascular disease.
But she noted that the study was small and will need to be repeated on a much larger scale to confirm the findings.


Alison Comments .....

Although this is a very new and small study, it is also very profound in its findings!!

The future of our childrens cardiac health and prevention of developing heart disease in adult life may well start in the womb.

Actually the message in this report is that women should endeavour to be in a healthy weight range before becoming pregnant, to help prevent heart disease in their babies future.

We already know for certain that when exercising in pregnancy, there is an increase in rich oxygen carrying red blood cells and nutrition to your growing baby. The placenta functions more efficiently and provides the best possible environment for your babies organs and body systems to develop healthily; including the babies heart and cardiovascular system.

So please spread the word about and help us to help you to keep active in pregancy and give your baby

the best start in life and hopefully a healthier future too!!!




 (July 2012) Obesity and Stillbirth studies.. 


It is enourmously sad that 4,000 stillbirth occur in the UK every year, according to a recent international audit. The shocking figure has barely inproved in the last decade and puts Britain on a par with Belarus & Estonia.

So why in the 21st century with supposedly advanced health care and services does the UK rank 33rd out of 193 countries for stillbirths?

The answer is far from simple and many varying factors have to be considered. Whilst the cause of at least one third of stillbirths remains unknown; we do know that soaring obesity rates combined with the rise in birth amongst older women is a major factor.

Professor Lesley Regan, a leading world expert in obstetrics at Imperial college, London warns...

"obesity impacts every stage of reproduction and pregnancy. Babies are likely to be bigger, the mother has a much higher risk of diabetes and labour is more difficlt and complicated. The obesity rate in the UK is currently 23%, which is almost double that of the rest of Europe and the most prominent cause of stillbirth in our country"


Alison Comments:

maintaining a healthy weight is an investment in our health, the health of our fertility, pregnancy and future family well being.

Please support BloominFit to support you to healthy wellbeing.




(February 2012) Pregnant women may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency...


The Telegraph newspaper recently reported that 'women should take vitamin D supplements to stave off rickets'.....

A somewhat alarming headline!

Therefore I thought I would write about what is rickets, why we need vitamin D and what the accredited health experts are reccomending.


Vitamin D is vital for building bones and a lack of it means our bodies cannot absorb dietary clacium or phosphorous. We need all of these components to build healthy, strong bones and teeth. A lack causes our bones to become porous and weak, which can lead to deformity of the limbs and sine (rickets).

Approximately 90% of vitamin D is made in the skin in response to strong sunlight. However, even in overcast weather the suns rays in daylight alone are still of benefit. The best way to boost our vitaminD levels is in the strong summer sun. However, understandibly many of us are concerned about the risk of skin cancer, so we cover ourselves in sunblock lotion, which blocks out the UVB light necessary for vitamin D absorbtion.

The other 10% of vitamin D comes from foods such as oily fish, meat, eggs, butter, milk and some fortified cereals.


Babies can suffer vitamin D deficiency in the womb and whilst breast feeding, if their mothers level are very low.

Researchers are suggesting that pregnant women in the UK should be told to routinely take vitamin D supplements.

The team at University College London Institute of Child Health says official bodies currently offer conflicting advice.

Writing in the British Journal of Nutrition, they say there is a "strong case" for a daily dose of vitamin D in pregnancy.


The Department of Health advises pregnant women to ensure they receive a certain level of vitamin D - 10 micrograms per day. The researchers say this in effect endorses use of supplements, because diet and the sun provide too little.

But the National Institute of health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) said in its guidance that it did not support supplements.

It has instead said that women should simply "be informed" about the importance of having adequate vitamin D levels during their pregnancy and while breastfeeding - adding that some women may choose to do this via supplements.

Additionally, pregnant women on low incomes are entitled to a range of nutrients - including vitamin D - as part of the Healthy Start Scheme


Alison's summary....

Vitamin D clearly plays a vital role in the development of health bones and teeth in a growing baby. Also it is important that babies recieve enough vitamin D whilst they are exclusively feeding from mums breast milk. (formula milk is fortified with vitamin D)

In order to boost your vitamin D levels aim to go out in the daylight every day for at least 20 minutes. Make some of your exercise sessions outdoors. On a sunny day ensure that you take a lunch break outside in the peak midday sun without sun factor, but do not expose your skin to longer that 20 mins of unprotected sun (as reccomended by Cancer Research)

Boost your diet with vitamin D rich foods and consider the use of a reccomended vitamin D supplement as per guidelines





(November 2011) A babies obesity & heart risk is partially determined whilst still in the womb....


According to a new investigation from Warwick Medical School, the risk of developing diabetes, obesity and heart conditions is partially pre-determined whilst in the womb. Pregnant women who improve their diet and increase their vitamin intake can lower the likelihood of their unborn child developing these risks in the future.
The investigation, in collaboration with the University of Southampton and the Kind Edward Memorial Hospital, in Pune, India, analyzes pregnant women and follows the growth and development of their babies.


Dr. Ponnusamy Saravanan, Associate Clinical Professor in Diabetes, Endocrine & Metabolism at the University of Warwickexplains:

"We are, without doubt, facing an obesity epidemic in this country. With each generation we are becoming more overweight and developing more cases of associated conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

We have found that mothers with low vitamin B12 gave birth to babies with features suggestive of them developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases soon after birth and at 6 years.

We believe that the micro-nutrients (vitamins) in a woman's diet fundamentally influence how the DNA functions, and this gene-diet interaction determines, at least in part, whether you are going to be more prone to being overweight as an adult. So this very early 'in-utero' stage can be critical in mapping out your adult health. Warwick's research on the functions of fat cells (adipocytes), indeed shows such imbalance of micronutrients fundamentally affects how energy is handled by these cells."

Dr Saravanan concluded:

"Our research is still ongoing, with a further phase beginning early next year, but all the indications show that we need to establish more 'primordial prevention' which means taking preventive action before these conditions develop, to improve our nation's future health and reduce the cost of treatment for the NHS."


Alison Comments:

More groundbreaking research into how we manage our diet and exercise in pregnancy can have a lifelong affect on the long term health and well being of our baby. More and more the message is loud and clear...  we need to promote and support women help them achieve a healthy weight management, regular exercise and an eating plan full of variety of nutrient rich and healthy foods.

And that's exactly what BloomingFit is all about.... so please spread the word. Join us on Twitter & Facebook and help us make a difference

Best wishes to all of you




(August 2011) Is a babies future fixed in it's first 1,000 days? .....


A growing body of research suggests that the first 1,000 days of a child's life (nine months in the womb & two years out of it) are vital to their long term health. This critical period may permanently affect everything from a child's chance of developing diabetes or having a heart attack later in life, to their future weight and life expectancy.


The Mail science correspondent recently reported on this theory which has been developed after decades of research by Professor David Barker and his colleagues at Southampton University.


They beleive that there are a series of critical stages that happen in a childs development and many of these danger points lie when the baby is still in the womb. A mother with a poor nutrious diet can affect the baby's weight and how well the placenta works. Also smoking, stress & alcohol also have an adverse affect on the healthy growth of the baby. Professor Barker believes that many health problems can be directly traced back to poor gowth in the womb. The seeds of heart disease, pancreatic errors and lack of micro nutrients for the baby to develop are critical factors in leter life developing cardaic problems, diabetes and obesity.

Professor Barker beleives that many of these early affects are 'set in stone' and cannot be undone. Therefore he urged that the key to health is ensuring women eat well both before and during pregnancy.

He said 'it is about building a body that the baby can live off. The baby lives off the mothers body and not just what she snacks on during pregnancy'.


Alison Comments:
Wow yet more exciting and powerful research based information about how we manage our health in pregnancy directly is critical to our babies immediate and future health and wellbeing.
It's great that we encourage our children to eat their greens, fruit and 5 a day. But the best start in life for them is even before they are born.
By preparing our bodies to be healthy with good nutrition, exercise and stress management we are investing in their future health before the pregnancy test is positive!!
But it's never to late to make a start even if your lifestyle has been less than healthy up until now. Make a committment today to adopt healthier habits and move your body to get fit. Go look at all the free information on the rest of for support and know how!! 
We love your feedback so please join us on Twitter, Facebook or email us.
Be in positive great health





(May 2011)  One in ten pregnant women are dangerously obese in the UK today...


Around 5% of all pregnant women in the UK - more than 38,000 - are severely obese, putting them and their babies at risk, according to a new study.

A stillbirth is twice as likely if the mother is severely obese.

Very overweight mothers are also at greater risk of blood clots, high blood pressure and bleeding after birth.

And the researchers for the Centre for Maternal and Child Enquiries (CMACE) found many maternity units were not set up to care for very overweight women.

For the first time, researchers for the Centre for Maternal and Child Enquiries (CMACE)

looked at pregnant women's Body Mass Index (BMI), a measure of obesity, collecting information from every maternity unit in the country.


Dr Kate Fitzsimons, lead researcher for the project, says it is important to know how many obese pregnant women there are.

" Being obese and pregnant can leave women open to more problems in pregnancy than non-obese women"


Cathy Warwick of the Royal College of Midwives agrees that "It matters because the risk of complications

and adverse outcomes increases with increasing BMI. We need to know how best to manage these complications

and reduce the risk during pregnancy because the problems don't just affect the mother; they also affect the baby."


The health risks to very overweight pregnant women are already fairly well known, but this study found that many

are not getting the kind of care they need.

While there is an increased risk of life threatening blood clots, only about half of obese pregnant women were offered treatment to prevent this at their first antenatal appointment.


Maternity units also sometimes struggle to cater for very overweight mothers, reporting a lack of extra-wide wheelchairs, examination couches, trolleys and beds.

Seeing some of the problems first hand is Tim Draycott, a consultant obstetrician at St. Michael's Hospital in Bristol.

"Up until very recently our Caesarean operating table only had a weight limit of 150 kilos (just over 23 and a half stone).

We probably have 20 women a year over 150 kilos, so we now have a new table that goes up to 250 kilos."


The report says women need better advice, care and support before they get pregnant, as well as better screening for existing medical conditions and possible complications.

The general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, Cathy Warwick, said the findings backed up their own research.

"Women have told us that they are not getting the level of care that they should from maternity services.

"There is no doubt that being obese and pregnant can leave women open to more problems in pregnancy than non-obese women.

"However, with high quality care these problems can be identified and treated and women can have a very positive experience of pregnancy and birth."


Alison comments:
Clearly the message about a healthy weight before becoming pregnant and during pregnancy is not being broadcasted loudly or clearly enough.
The dangers to both mother and baby are extreme and it really is so very, very urgent that we sit up and take notice of these shocking statistics.
What is needed is more education, better support and detailed knowledge about what to do to get fit and keep fit in pregnancy.
So please support BloomingFit to change this statistic and make for a healthier family future
Go to BloomingFit facebook and register your support, add your comments on our Twitter @bloomingfitcom and spread the word to your midwives, friends and ante natal groups
In appreciation..... Alison  




(29th March 2011) Weight training in pregnancy declared 'safe' for pregnancy....


A study by University of Georgia has suggested that apropriate, supervised, moderate intensity weight training is safe and beneficial for pregnant women.

The report, called 'Safety and Efficacy of Supervised Strength Training Adopted in Pregnancy' observed 32 women

undertaking strength training twice a week for three months.

The results show that no musculoskeletal injuries occurred while potentially adverse symptoms (such as dizziness) were infrequent

taking place only during 2.1 per cent of all sessions.

Repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed large increases in the external load across the 12-week testing period.

The benefits recorded were significant too - the percentage increases in external load from weeks 1 to 12 were 36 percent for leg press,

39 per cent for leg curl, 39 per cent for lat pull down, 41 per cent for lumbar extension and 56 per cent for leg extension.

Blood pressure was unchanged following acute exercise sessions and after 12 weeks of exercise training.

The researches concluded: "The adoption of an appropriate, low-to-moderate intensity strength training program during pregnancy

can be safe and efficacious for pregnant women."

The study was published in the current issue of Journal of Physical Activity and Health (volume 8, Issue 3, March 2011).


Alison comments:
"Many women are still fearful of weight training full stop....fearful of gaining too much muscle and looking 'butch'.
Let alone confused and unsure about training with weights in pregnancy as well!
However as women we simply don't have the large amount of testosterone hormone or the body make-up to look like Rambo.
This report is a a positive mesage about the benefits of weight training during pregnancy.
Women's bodies were tested to be stronger, more physically supportive to cope with the extra pressure
of pregnancy and less likely to have joint injuries.
However this report did highlight the importance of 'apropriate' and 'moderate' weight training exercises
and it is essential that all pregnant women do seek specific exercise advice from a specially qualified trainer.
Once again BloomingFit is here to help you with specific and safe advice.  
So to find out exactly how to weight train safely, appropriately and moderatley in pregnancy
click on this link... How to weight train in pregnancy




(17th January 2011) When you work out so does your baby....


New research shows that babies whose mothers do aerobic exercise during pregnancy may have healthier hearts.

"A regular exercise program during pregnancy may be the earliest way to improve cardiovascular health" says Dr Linda May of Kansas University who led the study as reported by Roger Dobson in The Mail

Foetal heart rates were recorded through sensors placed on the mothers skin of 61 healthy pregnanct women.

Half the women aerobically exercised the other half did not. The results showed substantial differences in fetal heart rate between the two groups.

The mothers who did exercises, the fetal heart rate was on average 10 beats per minute lower when the baby was active than those mothers who did no exercises.

The heart is a muscle, and like other muscles grows stronger with conditioning. The lower heart rate puts less pressure on the heart into pumping the same amount of blood and is a sign of a healthy heart.


Exactly how exercise in pregnancy shapes the fetal heart is not clear. However it is thought to be linked with the increase in hormones during exercises (including noreinephrine which has a key role in the development of the autonomic system and heart rate) and their more effective circulation into the placents.


Alison Comments...
"Wow this research is amazing and promotes the fact that appropriate exercises in pregnancy is so beneficial.
By giving your baby a 'womb workout' you are helping to develop a healthy cardio system and strong heart from the very start of development. Potentially these benefits could continue into adult life, lowering their risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease
So please help BloomingFit be that professional voice, that guidance and that inspiration for pregnant women and mums.
Women can log into BloomingFit anytime and be guided wth safe, specific and trusted information and advice on exercise, weight and healthy eating and lifestyle
Spread the word, tell friends, your midwives, other mums......together we can make this a healthier family world"


(24th November 2010) The majority of pregnant mums want more advice about weight management and nutrition.....


Research by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and parenting website Netmums found that 61 per cent of women said their midwife did not have enough time to discuss their concerns about weight management and healthy eating during their first antenatal appointment.

Nearly three-quarters of the 6,226 respondents thought that NHS midwives should offer antenatal classes that focus on nutrition and post-pregnancy baby weight.

And 59 per cent said that media coverage of celebrities snapping back into shape immediately after giving birth places more pressure on women to lose weight quickly. co-founder Sally Russell said that many women worry about their weight, even when they are not pregnant.

'During pregnancy, with the big changes in body shape and weight, plus an increased interest in health generally, women overwhelmingly feel they wanted to have the chance to discuss these matters with a healthcare professional,' she revealed.

'At the moment though, it seems that midwives just don't have the time and clearly investment and effort are very much needed to deal with this growing problem.'

Cathy Warwick, general secretary of the RCM, also highlighted the increasing rates of obesity among pregnant women.

She explained that obesity impacts on the health of women and their unborn babies, as well as placing greater strain on health services and resources.

'As a result of the increase in obesity among pregnant women in the UK, midwives are dealing with more complex births - on top of the continuing baby boom,' Ms Warwick said.

'These women need to see a midwife as early as possible in their pregnancy, and midwives need more time to spend with these women to help and advise them, as well as involving the wider healthcare team.'


Alison comments..... 
"I can see this from both sides being both Midwife and Fitness Expert which is exactly why I founded BloomingFit.
Pregnant women need detailed information, support and guidance during this specialised pregnancy time when there are so many body changes.
The pressures on midwives are huge and the increasing complications due to obesity and pregnancyare putting them under more pressure.
But specific healthy lifestyle and exercise advice in pregnancy can make a massive difference to the health of bother mum and baby.
So please help BloomingFit be that professional voice, that guidance and that inspiration for pregnant women and mums.
Women can log into BloomingFit anytime and be guided wth safe, specific and trusted information and advice on exercise, weight and healthy eating and lifestyle
Spread the word, tell friends, your midwives, other mums......together we can make this a healthier family world" 






(20th October 2010) Exercise before and during pregnancy can greatly reduce the risk of gestational diabetes


Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, US, showed physical activity before pregnancy can lower gestational diabetes risk by up to half.

They also found exercise in early pregnancy cuts the risk by a quarter. Researchers examined studies of 34,929 patients' activity levels prior to pregnancy and rates of gestational diabetes.

Women who were in the top quarter group of doing the highest physical activity prior to pregnancy were 55 per cent less likely to develop gestational diabetes than those in the lowest. This benefit dropped to 24 per cent in those exercising in early pregnancy only.

David Stalker, executive director, Fitness Industry Association (FIA), said: "Pregnant women must not only be supported to exercise during the post natal stage, when they are trying to get back to their pre pregnancy figure, but also gentle exercise during pregnancy too. The research points to the benefits.

"Engaging more women in more physical activity and educating them around the health benefits of participation is essential for lowering the risk of conditions such as this. There are lots of different classes to meet individual needs - from pregnancy yoga to swimming to moderate walking - it's just a case of working out what suits individual needs at each stage of the pregnancy".

Deepa Khatri, clinical adviser at Diabetes UK, said: "Women should try to achieve a healthy weight before conception, as active weight reduction during pregnancy is not appropriate. But it is important to encourage expectant mothers to avoid excess weight gain."


NICE recommends pregnant women undertake 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per day.....

and at BloomingFit we are here to help, support and encourage you to get active with safe, professional and effective exercise.

Let us know your comments below or join us on Facebook or Twitter




(10th 0ctober 2010) The eating for 2 myth is making pregnant women fat...


According to NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) almost one in six women are obese at the start of pregnancy. As a resuly NICE has published guidance on weight management before, during and after pregnancy which is aimed at health professionals such as midwives and GP's.

Health experts are worried that myths such as eating for two in pregnancy are fuelling the epidemic levels of overweight and obese pregnant women.

Professor Poston, Director of maternal and foetal research at Kings College London says that obese women faced a greater risk of "almost every complication in the book in pregnancy"; including pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, miscarriage and maternal death.

Research also suggests that obese women are more likely to have induced or longer labour, higher risk of caesarian section, post partum haemorrhage and can cause problems breastfeeding.

However Annie Anderson, Professor at Dundee University Health Nutrition research centre said "Pregnancy is absolutely not the time to diet, but neither is it the time to eat for two"

Therefore the advice was to follow a rounded and balanced regime:

•Eat a diet rich in fruit, veg and fibre carbohydrates
•Avoid excessively increasing your calorie intake
•Make activities such as walking and swimming a part of every day life

Alison comments .....
"So at last the government is waking up to the benefits of exercise, healthy eating and lifestyle in pregnancy.......
And thank goodness for BloomingFit to show you how to have a healthy, balanced, safe and nutritious pregnancy and motherhood"



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