New studies are showing that it is hard to over-estimate the importance of what happens to a mother while she is pregnant.
Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania discovered that stressed mice release different vaginal bacteria to those that were unstressed, and this led to their babies exhibiting different gene related brain cell growth. Researchers are now looking at comparable bacterial changes in stressed women.
However, positive baby brain development traits were discovered by a team at the University of Montreal in mothers who exercised for at least 20 minutes, three times a week, throughout their pregnancy. Five-year-old children showed a better ability to communicate and gained higher scores in intelligence tests if their mothers had exercised regularly while pregnant.
Good guidance on exercising during pregnancy can be found in 'The Complete Guide to Pregnancy and Fitness' by Morc Colson and Sarah Bolitho http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1408153815