1. Davenport MH, Steinback CD, Borle K, Matenchuk B, Vanden Berg E, de Freitas E, Linares A, O’Halloran K, Sherpa M, Day TA. Extreme pregnancy: Maternal physical activity at Everest. Journal of Applied Physiology

  2. Reyes LM & Davenport MH. Prenatal exercise as a non-pharmacological intervention to optimize fetal weight. Pharmacological Research (YPHRS_2017_1419 Accepted April 18, 2018).

  3. Reyes LM, Usselman CW, Davenport MH, Steinback CD. Sympathetic Nervous System Regulation in Human Normotensive and Hypertensive Pregnancies. Hypertension. 71(5):793-803.

  4. Reyes LM, Usselman CW, Skow RJ, Charkoudian N, Staab JS, Davenport MH, Steinback CD. Sympathetic Neurovascular Regulation During Pregnancy: A Longitudinal Case Series Study. Exp Physiol. 103(3): 318-323, 2018.

  5. Meah VL, Backx K, Davenport MH. Functional hemodynamic testing in pregnancy: A position statement from the International Working Group on Maternal Hemodynamics. Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology. 51(3):331-340, 2018.

  6. Charkoudian N, Usselman CW, Skow RJ, Staab J, Julian CG, Stickland MK, Chari R, Khurana R, Davidge ST, Davenport MH*, and Steinback CD*. Muscle sympathetic nerve activity and volume regulating factors in healthy pregnant and non-pregnant women. Am J Physiol-Heart Circ Physiol. 313(4):H782-H787, 2017.

  7. Skow RJ, King EC, Steinback CD, and Davenport MH. The influence of prenatal exercise on maternal vascular function. Clinical Science 131(17):223-2240.

  8. Adams S, Delorey D, Davenport MH, Stickland M, Fairey A, North S, Szczotka A and Courneya K. Effects of high-intensity aerobic interval training on cardiovascular disease risk in testicular cancer survivors: a phase II randomized controlled trial. Cancer 123(20):4057-40657, 2017.

  9. Johnson ST, Mladenovic AB, Mathe N, Davenport MH, Butalia S, Qiu W, Johnson JA. Healthy eating and active living after gestational diabetes mellitus (HEALD-GDM): Rationale, design, and proposed evaluation of a randomized controlled trial. Contemp Clin Trials 61:23-28, 2017.

  10. Garber A, Csizmadi I, Friedenreich, CM, Sajobi T, Longman RS, Tyndall AV, Drogos LL, Davenport MH, Poulin MJ. Association between glycemic load and cognitive function in community-dwelling older adults: results from the Brain in Motion study. Clinical Nutrition pii: S0261-5614 (17)30250-9, 2017.

  11. Eshghi SR, Fletcher K, Myette-Côté É, Durrer C, Gabr RQ, Little JP, Senior P, Steinback CD, Davenport MH, Bell GJ, Brocks DR and Boulé NG. Glycemic and metabolic effects of two long bouts of moderate intensity exercise in men with normal glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes. Frontiers in Endocrinology. 8:154, 2017.

  12. McCurdy A, Boule N, Sivak A, Davenport MH. Effects of exercise on mild-to-moderate depressive symptoms in the postpartum period: A meta-analysis. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 129(6), 2017.

  13. Tyndall AV, Argourd L, Sajobi TT, Davenport MH, Forbes SC, Gill SJ, Parboosingh JS, Anderson TJ, Wilson BJ, Smith EE, Hogan DB, Hill MD, Poulin MJ. Cardiometabolic risk factors predict cerebrovascular health in older adults: results from the Brain in Motion study. Physiol Rep. 4(8). pii: e12733, 2016.

  14. Davenport M.H., Ruchat SM, Hazell TJ. Exercise prescription for post-menopausal women with obesity. Current Women’s Health Reviews. 13(1):17-24, 2016.

  15. Davenport M.H., Skow R.J., Steinback C.D. (2016). Maternal Responses to Aerobic Exercise in Pregnancy. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 59(3):541-51.

  16. Bruce CD, Steinback CD, Chauhan UV, Pfoh JR, Abrosimova M, Vanden Berg ER, Skow RJ, Davenport MH and Day TA. Quantifying cerebrovascular reactivity in anterior and posterior cerebral circulations during voluntary breath-holding. Exp Physiol 101(12):1517-1527, 2016.

  17. Schmidt S.M., Chari R., Davenport M.H. (2016). Exercise During Pregnancy: Current Recommendations by Canadian Maternity Health Care Providers. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 38(2):177-8.

  18. Johnson S.T., Lynch B., Vallance J., Davenport M.H., Gardiner P.A., Butalia S. (2016). Sedentary behavior, gestational diabetes mellitus, and type 2 diabetes risk: where do we stand? Endocrine. 52(1):5-10.

  19. MacKay C.M., Skow R.J., Tymko M.M., Boulet L.M., Davenport M.H., Steinback C.D., Ainslie P.N., Lemieux C.C., Day T.A. (2016). Central respiratory chemosensitivity and cerebrovascular CO2 reactivity: a rebreathing demonstration illustrating integrative human physiology. Adv Physiol Educ. 40(1):79-92.

  20. Usselman C.W., Wakefield P.K., Skow R.J., Stickland M.K., Chari R.S., Julian C.G., Steinback C.D. and Davenport, M.H. (2015). Regulation of sympathetic nerve activity during the cold pressor test in normotensive pregnant and nonpregnant women. Hypertension. 66(4):858-64.

  21. Usselman C.W., Skow R.J., Matenchuk B.A., Stickland M.K., Chari R.S., Julian C.G., Davenport M.H. and Steinback C.D.. (2015). Sympathetic baroreflex gain in normotensive pregnant women. J Appl Physiol. 119(5):468-74.

  22. Wiebe H.W., Boule N.G., Chari R. and Davenport, M.H. (2015). The effect of supervised prenatal exercise on fetal growth: A meta-analysis. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 125(5):1185-94.

  23. Steinback C.D., King E.C. and Davenport, M.H. (2015). Longitudinal cerebrovascular reactivity during pregnancy: a case study. APNM. Jan 20:1-4.

  24. Fraser G.M., Morton J.S., Schmidt S.M., Bourque S., Davidge S.T., Davenport M.H. and Steinback C.D. (2015). Reduced uterine perfusion pressure decreases functional capillary density in skeletal muscle. AJP Heart Circ Physiol. 309(12):H2002-7.

  25. Gill S.J., Friedenreich C.M., Sajobi T.T., Longman R.S., Drogos L.L., Davenport M.H., Tyndall A.V., Eskes G.A., Hogan D.B., Hill M.D., Parboosingh J.S., Wilson B.J. and Poulin M.J. (2015). Association between lifetime physical activity and cognitive functioning in middle-aged and older community dwelling adults: Results from the Brain in Motion Study. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 21(10):816-30.

  26. Spencer M.D., Tyndall A.V., Davenport, M.H., Argourd L., Anderson T.J., Eskes G.A., Friedenreich C.M., Hogan D.B., Leigh R., Meshi B., Smith E.E., Wilson B.J., Wilton S.B., and Poulin M.J. (2015). Cerebrovascular responsiveness to hypercapnia is stable over six months in older adults. PLoS One. 10(11):e0143059.

  27. Davenport, M.H., S-M. Ruchat, I. Giroux, M.M. Sopper and M.F. Mottola (2013). Timing of excessive pregnancy-related weight gain and offspring adiposity at birth. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 122(2 Pt 1):255-61.

  28. Giles, W.R., F.O. Campos, M.H. Davenport, R. Weber Dos Santos and A. Nygren (2013). High heart rate in pregnancy is modulated by augmented expression of an ion channel, If, in pacemaker tissue. Circulation. 127(20):2003-5.

  29. Ruchat, S.-M., M.H. Davenport, I. Giroux, M. Hillier, A. Batada, M.M. Sopper, J.A. Hammond and M.F. Mottola (2012). Effect of exercise intensity and duration on capillary glucose responses in pregnant women at high and low risk for gestational diabetes. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 28(8):669-78.

  30. Davenport, M.H., A.E. Beaudin, A.D. Brown, R. Leigh and M.J. Poulin (2012). Ventilatory responses to exercise and CO2 after menopause: effect of age and fitness. Resp Phys Neurobiol. 184(1):1-8.

  31. Davenport, M.H., D.B. Hogan, G.A. Eskes, R.S. Longman and M.J. Poulin (2012). Cerebrovascular reserve: the link between fitness and cognition? Exercise and Sport Science Reviews 40(3):153-8.

  32. Ruchat, S.-M., M.H. Davenport, I. Giroux, M. Hillier, A. Batada, M.M. Sopper, J.A. Hammond and M.F. Mottola (2012). Nutrition and exercise reduce excessive weight gain in normal weight pregnant women. Med Sci Sport Exerc. 44(8):1419-26.

  33. Ruchat, S.-M., M.H. Davenport, I. Giroux, M. Hillier, A. Batada, M.M. Sopper, J.A. Hammond and M.F. Mottola (2012). Cardiorespiratory responses to a maternal weight-bearing exercise program of low or moderate intensity. Int J Sports Med. 33(8):1419-26.

  34. Ruchat, S.-M., M.H. Davenport, I. Giroux, M. Hillier, A. Batada, M.M. Sopper, J.A. Hammond and M.F. Mottola (2012). Cardiorespiratory responses to a maternal weight-bearing exercise program of low or moderate intensity. Int J Sports Med. 33(8):1419-26.

  35. Davenport, M.H., R. Goswami, J.K. Shoemaker and M.F. Mottola (2012). The influence of hyperglycemia during and after pregnancy on postpartum vascular function. AJP Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 302(6):R768-775.

  36. Davenport, M.H., I. Giroux, M.M. Sopper and M.F. Mottola (2011). Postpartum exercise regardless of intensity improves chronic disease risk factors. Med Sci Sport Exerc. 43(6):951-958.

  37. Davenport, M.H., Campbell, M.K. and M.F. Mottola (2010). Increased incidence of glucose disorders during pregnancy is not explained by pre-pregnancy obesity in London, Canada. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 10(1):85.

  38. Mottola, M.F., Giroux, I., Gratton, R., Hammond, J., Hanley, A., Harris, S., McManus, R., Davenport, M.H. and Sopper, M.M. (2010). A Nutrition and Exercise Lifestyle Intervention Program (NELIP) that prevents excessive pregnancy weight gain and minimizes weight retention in overweight and obese women.Med Sci Sport Exerc. 42(2):265-272.

  39. Davenport M.H. , C.D. Steinback, and M.F. Mottola (2009). Impact of pregnancy and obesity on cardiorespiratory responses during weight-bearing exercise. Resp Phys Neurobiol. 167(3):341-347.

  40. Davenport, M.H. and M. Rodriguez Cabrero (2009). Maternal nutritional history predicts obesity in adult offspring independent of postnatal diet. J Physiol. 587 (Pt 14):3423-4.

  41. Davenport, M.H., S. Charlesworth, D. Vanderspank, M.M. Sopper and M.F. Mottola (2008). Exercise prescription and validation of target heart rate zones for overweight and obese pregnant women. APNM 33(5):984-989.

  42. Davenport, M.H., M.F. Mottola, R. McManus and R. Gratton (2008). Walking intervention improves capillary glucose control in women with gestational diabetes mellitus: a pilot study. APNM 33(3): 511-7.

  43. Mottola, M.F., M.H. Davenport, C. Brun, S. Inglis, S. Charlesworth, M. M. Sopper (2006). Prediction of VO2peak and target heart rate zone exercise prescription for pregnant women based on fitness level. Med Sci Sport Exerc. 38(8):1389-1395.

The Program for Pregnancy and Postpartum Health (PPPH) is a multi-site research program developed in 2013, with the mission of conducting research to improve the life-long health of pregnant and postpartum women and their children.

The PPPH is directed by Dr. Margie Davenport who is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation. She received her PhD (2010) in Integrative Exercise Physiology from the University of Western Ontario and conducted a 2 year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Calgary.

She is an emerging expert in metabolic and cardiovascular adaptations associated with normal and complicated pregnancies. Her primary interest is in the benefits of exercise prior to, during and following pregnancy for both mother and child.

“As a mother of two young daughters I understand the importance, difficulties and benefits of healthy living during pregnancy. Our goal is to provide women with the knowledge and guidance to achieve a healthy pregnancy. After all, a healthy pregnancy lays the foundation for a healthy future for you and your baby."

Margie Davenport PhD Director, Program for Pregnancy and Postpartum Health

The Program for Pregnancy and Postpartum Health is currently conducting research into how pregnancy and the postpartum period affects the short- and long-term risk of chronic disease for both mother and infant. We have studies that are as short as a few hours or as long as several months/years! If you are interested in learning more, please contact us at: or call 780-492-0642


Pregnancy is an exciting, but often overwhelming, time in a woman's life. Many pregnant women are more tired than usual, have swollen hands and feet, and have new aches and pains. It may seem like the perfect time to rest and relax but new research is showing that being active during pregnancy has many short and long term benefit for both you and your baby. Research has shown that exercise during pregnancy can:

Boost your mood and energy,
Improve sleep,
Help prevent excessive weight gain,
Improve circulation,
Increase tolerance to labour,
Decrease your risk for gestational diabetes, high blood pressure during
pregnancy and postpartum depression,
The list goes on!

NOTE: All pregnant women should speak to their health care provider about beginning or continuing to exercise during pregnancy. The PARmed-X for Pregnancy is used by health care providers as a screening tool for contraindications to exercise during pregnancy. You can use it to help start the conversation!


Gaining an appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy is important for the health of you and your baby! In 2009 the Institute of Medicine updated their weight gain recommendations for pregnant women. These guidelines were designed to optimize outcomes for both mother and child. Research has shown that gaining too little weight increases the risk of having a low birth weight baby. Evidence also demonstrates that gaining too much weight while pregnant increases the risk of having a high birth weight baby and postpartum weight retention. Moderation is key!

All pregnant women are recommended to gain between 0.5-2kg (1.1-4.4lbs) in the first trimester or 12 weeks of pregnancy. The amount of weight women are recommended to gain in the second and third trimesters are based on body mass index before pregnancy.
IOM WEIGHT GAIN CHART: New Recommendations for total and rate of weight T gain during regnancy, by Pregnancy bmi

Prepregnancy BMIBMI+ (kg/m2)Total Weight Gain (lbs)Rates of Weight Gain* 2nd and 3rd Trimester (lbs/week)
Underweight<18.528–401 (1–1.3)
Normal weight18.5-24.925–351 (0.8–1)
Overweight25.0-29.915–250.6 (0.5–0.7)
Obese (includes all classes)≥30.011–200.5 (0.4–0.6)

+ To calculate BMI go to
* Calculations assume a 0.5–2 kg (1.1–4.4 lbs) weight gain in the first trimester
(based on Siega-Riz et al., 1994; Abrams et al., 1995; Carmichael et al., 1997)

For more information about weight gain during pregnancy.
Where does the weight go when you are pregnant?

Baby: 8 pounds
Placenta: 2-3 pounds
Amniotic fluid: 2-3 pounds
Breast tissue: 2-3 pounds
Blood supply: 4 pounds
Stored fat for delivery and breastfeeding: 5-9 pounds
Larger uterus: 2-5 pounds

Total: 25-35 pounds recommended for pre-pregnancy BMI of 18.5-24.9kg/m2