Exercise in pregnancy reduces post-partum depression

Exercising during and after pregnancy reduces the risk of getting the baby blues, researchers have discovered.

Simply walking with a pram protects against postnatal depression in new mothers, a study found.

Researchers tracked the mental health of almost 1,000 mothers who were offered exercise interventions during and after pregnancy as part of a new study.

Compared to women who didn’t exercise, the researchers found those who did displayed fewer signs of depression following the birth of a child.

An estimated 140,000 women suffer from mental health problems during pregnancy or in the months after their baby is born each year in the UK.

Walking with a pram protects against postpartum depression in new mothers, a study found

WHAT IS POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION?

An estimated 140,000 women suffer from mental health problems during pregnancy or in the months after their baby is born each year in the UK.

But thousands don’t get the support they need, and suicide is the leading cause of death in expectant and new mothers.

Many women do not realise they have post-natal depression because it can develop gradually and often goes undetected and untreated. 

Postpartum depression, the most common complication of bearing a child, affects one in nine women, US health officials say. 

The effects of postnatal (postpartum) depression

‘The negative consequences of postpartum depression not only affect the mother but also the child, who can suffer poor emotional and cognitive development,’ said researcher Celia Alvarez-Bueno, a PhD student at the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Spain.

Symptoms of postpartum depression can include anxiety attacks, insecurity, irritability, fatigue, guilt, fear of harming the baby and a reluctance to breastfeed.

The symptoms start within four weeks of delivery and are considered severe…

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