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AIS Launches Research Into Pregnancy And Sport


AIS Launches Research Into Pregnancy And Sport

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has launched a historic research project into the impacts of athlete pregnancy.

The research will look at the physical, mental, financial and social impacts pregnancy and post-pregnancy have on athletes and their decision to remain in the industry.

This is the first study of its kind in Australia and will give the AIS better tools to support women going back to competitive sport after pregnancy.

The programme named ‘Mum-Alete’ is in partnership with the AIS Female Performance and Health Initiative (FPHI), established in 2019 to better support athletes, coaches and health professionals in the industry.

Former Olympic and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Dr Rachel Harris, who is the leader of the AIS FPHI,said the program will help support women who chose to return to high performance sport after pregnancy.

“As a former athlete and as a health professional, I know first-hand how difficult it has been in the past to find guidance about important issues facing female athletes such as pregnancy,” Dr Harris said.

“The ‘Mum-Alete’ study is the first research project of its kind in Australia.

“The findings will not only help shape current and future AIS initiatives but influence change to better support and improve the longevity of female athletes.

“There’s nothing like this being done in Australia before, so we want to know how our system will be able to support Australian athletes,” she said.

The results are expected in April 2022.

AIS sports and exercise medicine registrar, Dr Victoria Forsdick, said: “Athlete wellbeing and success go hand in hand so establishing conditions to create a supportive environment is a key strategic priority for the AIS.”

“Historically almost all research and resources have been centred around male athletes so I’m proud that AIS Clinical Services is helping change that narrative to better support our female athletes,” Dr Forsdick said.

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