Exercise frequency during the third trimester as a means to alleviate symptoms of postpartum depression




Heslep, Ashley

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The purpose of this study was to observe the effect of exercise during the third trimester of pregnancy on feelings of postpartum depression. Data was obtained from the Centers for Disease Control. Participants indicated exercise frequency and depression symptoms through a questionnaire, completing it within one year of giving birth. During the third trimester, exercising 1-4 days/week significantly decreased feelings of postpartum depression, with an odds ratio of 0.675 (95% confidence interval: 0.592-0.768). This held true with financial stress or spousal abuse present, two primary indicators of postpartum depression. An adjusted odds ratio of 0.691 (95% confidence interval: 0.603-0.791) was observed. During the third trimester, exercising 5 or more days/week did not significantly decrease feelings of postpartum depression. An odds ratio of 0.903 (95% confidence interval: 0.747-1.091) was observed. This remained consistent with financial stress or spousal abuse present, with an adjusted odds ratio of 0.919 (95% confidence interval: 0.755-1.19).



Education, Health and environmental sciences, Exercise during pregnancy, Postpartum depression