Pregnancy is a time when most moms-to-be are given a pass to forget about tracking food and nutrient intake, and even to “eat for two.” But new research from King’s College in London might make some rethink that.

The UPBEAT (U.K. Pregnancies Better Eating and Activity Trial ) gave one group of obese pregnant women a diet and exercise intervention while a control group maintained their habits. With support from the British Heart Foundation and the Tommy’s charity, the trial aimed to show that lifestyle changes in obese pregnant women can benefit both them and their babies in the long term.

In a follow-up three years after the moms gave birth, the intervention group had healthier children than the control group. On average, their children’s resting heart rates were 5 beats per minute slower than the control group babies. A lower BPM typically indicates better cardiovascular health.