Tired, moody and pregnant?

12:0AM, Aug 5th 2013

Exercise may be the answer

Getty Images

Exercising during pregnancy may significantly improve your mood and reduce the risk of anxiety, fatigue and depression, according to a new Canadian study.

Researchers conducted a four-week exercise intervention programme with previously inactive pregnant women to determine whether it would improve their psychological and physical wellbeing.

The results, published in Psychology & Health, clearly showed that even a relatively short-term period of exercise could significantly boost vigor and mood levels during pregnancy.

Participants (who were an average of 22 weeks pregnant) were assessed using mood and anxiety trait profiles at the start and finish of the four-week programme. They were required to complete 30-minute bouts of moderate-to-vigorous exercise each day.

Related: Fun (safe) pregnancy fitness

While negative mood disorders such as postnatal depression are widely recognised, cases of depression, anxiety and fatigue are actually more common during pregnancy than after, according to study authors Anca Gaston and Harry Prapavessis from the University of Western Ontario.

The authors cited the numerous health benefits of the study’s exercise-based approach in light of previous research showing the negative impact on children of depression and anxiety during pregnancy.

Such children tend to have higher levels of cortisol (the ‘stress hormone’) at birth and in adolescence, impaired cognition skills and a great risk of mental and developmental disorders such as autism.

In addition, depression during pregnancy can lead to complications such as insufficient weight gain, increased substance use, premature birth and reduced intention to breastfeed.

While the study focused only the outcome of a short-term intervention, the positive results suggest that exercising during pregnancy improves both physical and psychological health.

In conclusion, the authors stated that due to misconceptions regarding the safety of exercise during pregnancy, “continued efforts to educate women, their families and prenatal health professionals about current guidelines and the benefits and barriers associated with exercise during pregnancy are needed.”

Tell us below… Did you suffer from fatigue or depression during pregnancy? Did exercising help?

comments powered by Disqus

Related articles

 
 
instagram
  • Spoilt for choice thanks to #gaiaskinnaturals. There really is something for the whole family! 
@gaia_skin_naturals #babycare

    mother and baby Spoilt for choice thanks to #gaiaskinnaturals. There really is something for the whole family! @gaia_skin_naturals #babycare

    More from the team
  • Playing dress-ups with paper dolls! Such a cute idea. Thanks #pumpkinpatch #summerroadtrip

    mother and baby Playing dress-ups with paper dolls! Such a cute idea. Thanks #pumpkinpatch #summerroadtrip

    More from the team
  • Loved seeing us on the @colessupermarkets TVC while watching The Bachelor tonight! These award winning nappies are now only $11. 2014 winners will be announced in our Oct/Nov issue on sale 2nd October. #downdown #pricesaredown #motherandbabyawards

    mother and baby Loved seeing us on the @colessupermarkets TVC while watching The Bachelor tonight! These award winning nappies are now only $11. 2014 winners will be announced in our Oct/Nov issue on sale 2nd October. #downdown #pricesaredown #motherandbabyawards

    More from the team
  • Can never get enough tips for feeding fussy toddlers!! On a winner tonight by adding finely chopped broccoli, carrot and cauliflower to spaghetti bolognese. This @babybjorn plate and spoon makes it easy for little hands to feed themselves. What advice worked for you with feeding your fussy eater??

    mother and baby Can never get enough tips for feeding fussy toddlers!! On a winner tonight by adding finely chopped broccoli, carrot and cauliflower to spaghetti bolognese. This @babybjorn plate and spoon makes it easy for little hands to feed themselves. What advice worked for you with feeding your fussy eater??

    More from the team
  • Holiday planning and have heard Fiji is great for families. Have you been?? What is it you look for when holidaying with the kids? Is it spacious accommodation? Kids clubs? Beaches/pools?

    mother and baby Holiday planning and have heard Fiji is great for families. Have you been?? What is it you look for when holidaying with the kids? Is it spacious accommodation? Kids clubs? Beaches/pools?

    More from the team
  • Our friends at @targetaustralia are calling all your cute babies to enter for the chance to be the face of baby Bonds for Target. Check out their page for details. #targetlovesbonds

    mother and baby Our friends at @targetaustralia are calling all your cute babies to enter for the chance to be the face of baby Bonds for Target. Check out their page for details. #targetlovesbonds

    More from the team
  • Happy Birthday, Snuffy!!!! Anyone else share his special day??!! @sesamestreet

    mother and baby Happy Birthday, Snuffy!!!! Anyone else share his special day??!! @sesamestreet

    More from the team
  • Big congrats to songstress Christina Aguilera (@xtina) who gave birth to a baby girl named Summer Rain!

    mother and baby Big congrats to songstress Christina Aguilera (@xtina) who gave birth to a baby girl named Summer Rain!

    More from the team
  • Join the mums club at Bounty Rewards and you could win a brand spankin' new fridge! 
Www.bountyrewards.com.au

    mother and baby Join the mums club at Bounty Rewards and you could win a brand spankin' new fridge! Www.bountyrewards.com.au

    More from the team