Dr. Sara GouldDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery Associate Professor Sara Gould, M.D., presented “Resistance Training Does Not Decrease Placental Blood Flow During Valsalva Maneuver: A Novel Use of 3D Doppler Power Flow Ultrasonography” at the International Olympic Committee World Conference on Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport in Monaco in Nov. 2021.

The conference is the premier international conference for those interested in clinical aspects of sports and exercise medicine.Dr. Gould's IOC Presentation

“I was proud to represent the UAB Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and our wonderful research capabilities on this international stage,” said Gould. “It was an honor to be one of a select group of high-performing researchers from around the world to share our research.”

Other study authors included Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Assistant Professor Chase Cawyer, M.D., Department of Medicine Professor Louis Dell’Italia, M.D., former Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Associate Professor Lorie Harper, M.D.,  Associate Director of the UAB Clinical Trials Research Unit Gerald McGwin, Ph.D., and Department of Medicine Professor Marcas Bamman, Ph.D.

Study authors hypothesized that there is no significant reduction in placental blood flow in pregnancy during resistance training in recreational athletes, as documented by a 3D power flow Doppler ultrasonography. Vessels with low-velocity blood flow can be imaged using this technique, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Authors ultimately concluded that three-dimensional power flow Doppler imaging can guide resistance training during pregnancy to prevent fetal injury due to hypoperfusion. Resistance training up to an RM1 of 50 lb did not result in a significant reduction of placental blood flow from resting state in the study population.

“This study documents the capability of the female athlete’s body during pregnancy,” said Gould. “We look forward to continuing to study the safety of specific movements and exercises during pregnancy and urge pregnant athletes to visit our clinic for specific guidance.”

Dr. Gould at the IOC