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MyCQU - News Article

News Article

ABC podcast shares pregnancy fitness research journey

Published:27 August 2020

CQUniversity exercise science researcher Dr Melanie Hayman is a co-supervisor of the PhD research project.

CQUniversity exercise science researcher Dr Melanie Hayman has shared her passion for fitness, research and supporting pregnant women and new mums, on popular ABC parenting podcast Babytalk.

Speaking to host Penny Johnston for the recent episode, Dr Hayman explained why she loved the competitive and community aspects of sport - and how having her son in 2013 paved the way for research into keeping mothers involved.

"I went from doing an undergrad in exercise science, to a masters, and then teaching at a secondary school - and absolutely loved it!" she said.

"But about three and a half years into that job I fell pregnant with my son, and I had to decide what to do next."

She said a coffee with a mentor connected her with academic research, and she's never looked back.

"I dove into a PhD not really knowing anything about it, or what it would involve - I just knew I was really passionate about exercise in pregnancy, based on my own experience throughout my pregnancy.

"I just thought, there's a massive gap here, and if I'm finding it really difficult and I've got an exercise science background, how many other women must be struggling too?"

Dr Hayman's research led to her creating Fit4Two intervention program to help pregnant women increase their physical activity and fitness, to improve their health, and reduce health risks for their baby.

"Unfortunately some women are told to not exercise during pregnancy due to a lack of knowledge from healthcare professionals - actually, there are various associated health benefits to mother and child if they can continue exercising during pregnancy," she said

"One of the biggest rewards for me is to take the research we do and share it with pregnant women and with health care providers to they too have access to evidence-based information."


Sport and exercise during pregnancy

Babytalk: Pregnancy & Sport

Can you keep playing your favourite sport if you're pregnant? What about returning to sport post partum? This week we speak to an exercise scientist about the what we do know about exercise, both during and after pregnancy.