A new study has revealed that exercise enhances the mood of pregnant women and reduces fatigue levels.
Several studies have been conducted concerning the well-being of pregnant women, as it is a very crucial stage in life for women. Many studies have linked pregnancy with weight gain and depression post delivery. During pregnancy, hormone changes affect brain chemicals resulting in depression and anxiety. Postpartum depression has gained more attention from the media and the public in the last few years.
A new study by Anca Gaston and Harry Prapavessis at the University of Western Ontario, shows how to fight depression during pregnancy. The study notes that rates of depression, anxiety and fatigue are actually much higher during pregnancy than later. Researchers noted that women who are depressed and anxious during pregnancy gain unwanted weight, indulge in substance use, resulting premature births or smaller babies and also display decreased intention to breastfeed.
For the study, researchers conducted a four-week exercise intervention program and examined the benefits in pregnant women. The results showed enhanced mood among pregnant women participants during the program and they also displayed reduced levels of fatigue. Hence, researchers strongly recommend that pregnant women indulge in regular exercises to improve physical and mental well-being.
Depression during pregnancy not only affects the well-being of the mother but also the children. According to the study, these children have "higher cortisol levels at birth and adolescence, impaired cognition skills and greater risk of developmental and mental disorders."
Regular exercises to maintain physical activeness can result in better results. Fatigue during pregnancy leads to disturbed sleep, higher chances of cesarean delivery and also affects both mental and physical health.
The findings are published in the journal Psychology & Health.