The association of exercise during pregnancy with trimester-specific and postpartum quality of life and depressive symptoms in a cohort of healthy pregnant women

Kelsey Campolong, Sarah Jenkins, Matthew M Clark, Kristi Borowski, Nancy Nelson, Katherine M. Moore, William V Bobo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Few published studies have examined the relationship between exercise during pregnancy, quality of life (QOL), and postpartum depressive symptoms in healthy pregnant women. A prospective cohort of 578 healthy pregnant women were followed during their pregnancy through 6 months postpartum. Levels of self-reported exercise and QOL before, during, and following pregnancy were assessed using standardized questionnaires during each trimester of pregnancy and 6 months postpartum. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 28 weeks gestation and 6 weeks postpartum. Participants were classified as having “sufficient exercise” if they achieved at least 150 min of exercise per week. Sufficient exercisers reported significantly higher ratings on most domains of QOL during each trimester of pregnancy and in the postpartum follow-up, compared with insufficient exercisers. There were no significant between-group differences in depressive symptoms. In examining the impact of exercise during each trimester, active women who became sedentary during their third trimester demonstrated a decline in their QOL. Achieving recommended levels of exercise during pregnancy was associated with higher QOL during pregnancy and the postpartum in healthy pregnant women. Decreasing the amount of exercise during pregnancy was associated with reduced QOL. These results suggest that it may be important for health care professionals to counsel healthy pregnant women about both the benefits of being physically active during pregnancy, and to provide guidance on how to remain physically active during a healthy pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Women's Mental Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Oct 24 2017

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Exercise
  • Pregnancy
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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