Schulich school of Medicine and Dentistry logo Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Dr. Michelle Mottola


(Joint appointment with the Faculty of Health Sciences in Kinesiology)

Ph.D. University of Alberta
M.Sc. University of Alberta
B.Sc. University of Western Onatrio

Office: 2214 3-M Centre 
Phone: 519-661-2111 ext. 85480
Visit: Dr. Mottola's Lab

Research Interests:

Dr. Mottola is the Director of R. Samuel McLaughlin Foundation - Exercise and Pregnancy Laboratory at Western - which is the only lab in North America that specializes in the area of exercising pregnant and post-partum women. She is an anatomist and exercise physiologist, who, for the past 20 years, has conducted research on the effects of maternal exercise on both the mother and the developing fetus. Dr. Mottola's main research focus:

  1. Preventing childhood obesity: early intervention through pregnancy and first year postpartum using a  family-based Nutrition & Exercise Lifestyle Intervention Program (NELIP).
  2. Bringing family-based NELIP into the clinical setting for obese pregnant women and their families.
  3. Nutrition and exercise effects on maternal weight gain and chronic disease risk in both mother and child.
  4. Exercise prescription  - application of the PARmed-X for pregnancy;
  5. Effects of maternal exercise on glucose metabolism in gestational diabetic women and women at risk for gestational diabetes.
  6. Effects of bed-rest exercise intervention on hospitalized high risk pregnant women.

Awards & Honours:

Selected Publications:

  1. Cordero, Y, MOTTOLA, MF, Vargas, J, Blanco, M, Barakat, R. 2014. Exercise is associated with a reduction in gestational diabetes mellitus. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Oct 20. [Epub ahead of print]

  2. van Poppel, M, Ruchat, SM, MOTTOLA, MF. 2014. Physical Activity and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Med Sport Sci. 60:104-12.

  3. Evenson KR, Barakat R, Brown WJ, Dargent-Molina P, Haruna M, Mikkelsen EM, MOTTOLA MF, Owe KM, Rousham EK, and Yeo S. 2014. Guidelines for physical activity during pregnancy:  Comparisons from around the world. Am J Lifestyle Med. Mar;8(2):102-121.

  4. Evenson, K, MOTTOLA, MF, Owe, K, Rousham, E, Brown, W. 2014. Summary of International guidelines for physical activity following pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol Survey. 60(7):407-414.

  5. Adamo, KB, Shen, G, MOTTOLA, MF, Nascimento, S, Jean-Philippe, S. Ferraro, Z, Nerenberg, K, Smith, G, Chari, R, Gaudet, L, Piccinini-Vallis, H, Wolcott, C, McDonald, SD, Atkinson, S, Godbout, A, Robitaille, A, Davidge, S, Gruslin, A, Prud’homme, D, Stacey, D, Rossiter, M, Goldfield, G, Dodd, J. 2014. Obesity Prevention from Conception: a workshop to guide the development of a pan Canadian trial targeting the gestational period. Nutrition & Metabolic Insights. 7:7-18.

  6. Vanderspank, D, Bernier, SM, Sopper, MM, Watson, P, MOTTOLA, MF. 2014. The effect of activity restriction on deoxypyridinoline (Dpd) excretion in high-risk hospitalized pregnant women. Biological Res Nursing 16(1): 7-15.

  7. Joy, E, MOTTOLA, MF, Chambliss, H. 2013. Integrating Exercise is Medicine into the care of pregnant women. Current Sports Medicine Reports. 12(4):245-7.

  8. MOTTOLA, MF. 2013. Physical activity and maternal obesity: Cardiovascular adaptations, exercise recommendations and pregnancy outcome. Nutrition Rev. 7(Suppl1):S31-S36.

  9. MOTTOLA, MF, Inglis, S, Brun, C, Hammond, JA. 2013. Physiological and metabolic responses of late pregnant women to 40 minutes of steady-state exercise followed by an oral glucose tolerance perturbation. J Appl Physiol. 115(5):597-604.

  10. Davenport, MH, Ruchat, S, Giroux, I, Sopper, M, MOTTOLA, MF. 2013. Timing of excessive pregnancy-related weight gain and offspring adiposity at birth. Obstet Gynecol. 122(2, PART 1):255-261.

  11. Ruchat, SM, MOTTOLA, MF. 2013. The important role of physical activity in the prevention and management of gestational diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 29(5):334-46.

  12. Brandao, KL, MOTTOLA, MF, Gratton, R, Maloni, J. 2013. Bone status in activity restricted pregnant women assessed using calcaneal quantitative ultrasound. Biol Res Nursing 15(2):205-12.

  13. Mudd. L, Owe, K, MOTTOLA, MF, Pivarnik, JM. 2013. Health benefits of physical activity during pregnancy: An international perspective. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 45(2):268–277.

  14. Ruchat, SM, MOTTOLA, MF. 2012 Preventing long-term risk of obesity for two generations: Prenatal physical activity is part of the puzzle. Journal of Pregnancy, Volume 2012, Article ID 470247, 33 pages doi:10.1155/2012/470247

  15. Ruchat, SM, Giroux, I, Hillier, M, Batada, A, Davenport, MH, McManus, R, MOTTOLA, MF. 2012. Effect of exercise intensity and duration on capillary glucose responses in pregnant women at low and high risk for gestational diabetes. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 28: 669–678.

  16. MOTTOLA, M.F., Giroux, I, Gratton, R., Hammond, J, Hanley, A, Harris, S, McManus, R Davenport, M, Sopper, MM. 2010. Nutrition and exercise prevents excess weight gain in pregnant overweight women. Med Sci Sports Exerc .42(2):265-72.

  17. Giroux, I., Lander, S., Charlesworth, S., MOTTOLA, M.F. 2009. Weight history of overweight and obese pregnant women. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research 70(3):127-134.

  18. MOTTOLA, M.F. 2009. Exercise prescription for overweight and obese women: Pregnant and postpartum. Obstet Gynecol Clinics NA 36:301-316.

  19. Davenport, MH, Steinback, CD, MOTTOLA, MF. 2009. Impact of pregnancy and obesity on cardiorespiratory responses during weight-bearing exercise. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 167:341

  20. Davenport, M, Sopper, MM, Charlesworth, S, Vanderspank, D, MOTTOLA, M.F. 2008. Development and validation of exercise target heart rate zones for overweight and obese pregnant women. Appl Physiol Nutrit Metabol. 33(5):984-9.

  21. MOTTOLA, MF. 2008. The role of exercise in the prevention and treatment of gestational diabetes mellitus. Current Diabetes Report 4:299-304.

  22. Davenport, M.H, McManus, R, Gratton, R, MOTTOLA, M.F. 2008. A walking intervention improves capillary glucose control in women with gestational diabetes mellitus: A pilot study. Appl Physiol Nutrit Metabol 33(3):511-7.

  23. Tompkins, C.C., MOTTOLA, M.F., Giroux, I. 2007. Dietary intake, capillary blood glucose and activity level of activity-restricted hospitalized pregnant women in third trimester: a pilot study. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 32:1105-1114.

  24. MOTTOLA, M.F. 2007. The role of exercise in the prevention and treatment of gestational diabetes mellitus. Current Sports Medicine Reports. 6:381-386.

  25. MOTTOLA, M.F., Vandersank, D., Schachter, C.L., VanHeest, J., Tanguay, R. 2007. Cellular accumulation of heat shock protein (hsp) 72i in fetuses of trained rats. Cell Stress and Chaperones. 12(2):101-105.