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Open AccessArticle

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

1
Program for Pregnancy and Postpartum Health, Physical Activity and Diabetes Laboratory, Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, Women and Children’s Health Research Institute, Alberta Diabetes Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E1, Canada
2
Departments of Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology, Women and Children’s Health Research Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Johanne Sundby
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 3907; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083907
Received: 10 March 2021 / Revised: 1 April 2021 / Accepted: 4 April 2021 / Published: 8 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Women's Reproductive and Maternal 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%) triplet 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: exercise; multiple pregnancy; activity restriction; healthcare provider advice exercise; multiple pregnancy; activity restriction; healthcare provider advice
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MDPI and ACS Style

Meah, V.L.; Strynadka, M.C.; Khurana, R.; Davenport, M.H. Physical Activity Behaviors and Barriers in Multifetal Pregnancy: What to Expect When You’re Expecting More. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3907. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083907

AMA Style

Meah VL, Strynadka MC, Khurana R, Davenport MH. Physical Activity Behaviors and Barriers in Multifetal Pregnancy: What to Expect When You’re Expecting More. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(8):3907. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083907

Chicago/Turabian Style

Meah, Victoria L.; Strynadka, Morgan C.; Khurana, Rshmi; Davenport, Margie H. 2021. "Physical Activity Behaviors and Barriers in Multifetal Pregnancy: What to Expect When You’re Expecting More" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 8: 3907. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083907

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