Margie Davenport


Exercise has significant cardiovascular and metabolic benefits in non-pregnant populations. However, whether exercise during pregnancy can prevent or attenuate maternal vascular dysfunction related to adverse events in pregnancy is unknown. There is some evidence to suggest that exercise programs initiated prior to conception or early in the first trimester may promote placental growth and vascularity which may attenuate potential adverse fetal outcomes. As the short and long term influences of pregnancy, pregnancy-related diseases (GDM and pre-eclampsia) and exercise during pregnancy are not well understood, elucidating these mechanisms may assist in the long-term prevention of chronic disease. The primary aims of my research are to identify: 1) the mechanisms of maternal-fetal transmission of chronic disease risk, 2) whether exercise can play a role in the prevention of risk transmission, and 3) the short and long-term effects of pregnancy and exercise on maternal-fetal health.

Stories this researcher is featured in:

February 9, 2022

Policy changes needed to better support pregnant elite female athletes, say researchers

New study identifies key areas for actions to improve gender equity in sport at all levels.

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March 8, 2021

Combatting depression and anxiety with exercise

Staying active during the pandemic has mental health benefits for pregnant and postpartum women.

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May 15, 2020

The heart of a healthy pregnancy

A University of Alberta research team believes risky pregnancy complications could be prevented with a prescription for exercise.

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