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Exercise could help depression and fatigue in pregnant women

By Chris Dodd    06 Aug 2013
Exercise in pregnancy – a host of benefits for most women

Exercise could improve the mood of pregnant women and reduce their levels of fatigue, according to new research published in Psychology & Health.

The study, conducted at the University of Western Ontario, examined the impact of a four-week exercise intervention programme on the psychological states of previously inactive pregnant women.

The results showed that participants reported significant improvements in their mood during the study, while also seeing a reduction in their levels of fatigue.

When publishing their findings, the experts highlighted that children of mothers who are depressed or anxious during pregnancy have higher cortisol levels at birth and adolescence, as well as impaired cognition skills and greater risk of developmental and mental disorders.

It has also been reported that fatigue during pregnancy has been associated with increased risk of caesarean delivery, disturbed sleep and a negative impact on physical and mental health.

Taking these problems into consideration, the study suggests that exercise intervention during pregnancy may have numerous health benefits, including steps to prevent the development of psychological conditions in children and young adults.

The authors concluded their study by stating that due to misconceptions regarding safety, continued efforts are needed to help educate women, their families and prenatal health professionals about the benefits and barriers often associated with exercise during pregnancy.

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