Tired, moody and pregnant?

12:0AM, Aug 5th 2013

Amelia Bloomfield

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
  • We can't help but smile every time we see this happy little bubba and his gorgeous Mama pop up in our feed! Follow Bobby and his mum Sophie at @theyoungmummy 👍

    mother and baby We can't help but smile every time we see this happy little bubba and his gorgeous Mama pop up in our feed! Follow Bobby and his mum Sophie at @theyoungmummy 👍

    More from the team
  • Christmas is such a special time of year. Ignite the magic and joy of Christmas in your baby, toddler or child with our list of favourite children's Christmas books. Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "Christmas books" to see our picks! #MandBxmas

    mother and baby Christmas is such a special time of year. Ignite the magic and joy of Christmas in your baby, toddler or child with our list of favourite children's Christmas books. Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "Christmas books" to see our picks! #MandBxmas

    More from the team
  • It's official! We're starting our Christmas countdown. Are you excited for the silly season? #MandBxmas

    mother and baby It's official! We're starting our Christmas countdown. Are you excited for the silly season? #MandBxmas

    More from the team
  • QUESTION: What is the age gap between your kids? Jessica Simpson @jessicasimpson has her hands full with her daughter, Maxwell and son, Ace only 13 months apart.

    mother and baby QUESTION: What is the age gap between your kids? Jessica Simpson @jessicasimpson has her hands full with her daughter, Maxwell and son, Ace only 13 months apart.

    More from the team
  • Being pregnant in Summer isn't all bikinis and floaty dresses. Today we share 10 tips to look & feel great during summertime when you've got a baby on board. Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "pregnant summer" or buy the latest issue of Pregnancy Life + Style on sale today!

    mother and baby Being pregnant in Summer isn't all bikinis and floaty dresses. Today we share 10 tips to look & feel great during summertime when you've got a baby on board. Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "pregnant summer" or buy the latest issue of Pregnancy Life + Style on sale today!

    More from the team
  • Grab your copy of our latest issue of Pregnancy Life + Style on sale today!

    mother and baby Grab your copy of our latest issue of Pregnancy Life + Style on sale today!

    More from the team
  • Do you find yourself yelling at your kids when they don't listen to you or do as you ask? We learned this week that this creates a bad habit as your children learn to only respond to you when you yell - so the result is that they ignore you the rest of the time! For 7 steps on how to avoid yelling, visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "yelling".

    mother and baby Do you find yourself yelling at your kids when they don't listen to you or do as you ask? We learned this week that this creates a bad habit as your children learn to only respond to you when you yell - so the result is that they ignore you the rest of the time! For 7 steps on how to avoid yelling, visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "yelling".

    More from the team
  • Baby news for our gorgeous Asher Keddie, who is expecting her first bub with her hubby.
On her pregnancy cravings she revealed to news.com.au that; “I’m not big on cravings but anything dairy for some reason. I want lots of cheese and lots of pistachios.” Congrats Asher!

    mother and baby Baby news for our gorgeous Asher Keddie, who is expecting her first bub with her hubby. On her pregnancy cravings she revealed to news.com.au that; “I’m not big on cravings but anything dairy for some reason. I want lots of cheese and lots of pistachios.” Congrats Asher!

    More from the team
  • What's with kids relentlessly calling out, "Muuuummm!" from distant rooms across the house?!

    mother and baby What's with kids relentlessly calling out, "Muuuummm!" from distant rooms across the house?!

    More from the team
  • Postnatal depression is not black and white. It can be hard to recognise and to talk about. Share a photo today with a black and white filter and hashtag #bePNDaware to raise awareness for PND and get people talking @pandanational

    mother and baby Postnatal depression is not black and white. It can be hard to recognise and to talk about. Share a photo today with a black and white filter and hashtag #bePNDaware to raise awareness for PND and get people talking @pandanational

    More from the team