Physical activity in pregnancy and postpartum depressive symptoms in a multiethnic cohort


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Journal of Affective Disorders;Volume 236, 15 August 2018



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Introduction: There is strong evidence that postpartum depression is associated with adverse health effects in the mother and infant. Few studies have explored associations between physical activity in pregnancy and postpartum depression. We aimed to investigate whether physical activity during pregnancy was inversely associated with postpartum depressive symptoms, PPDS in a multiethnic sample. Method: Population-based, prospective cohort of 643 pregnant women (58 % ethnic minorities) attending primary antenatal care from early pregnancy to postpartum in Oslo between 2008 and 2010. Data on demographics and health outcomes were collected during standardized interviews. PPDS was defined by a sum score ≥10 from the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), 3 months after birth. Physical activity was recorded with Sense Wear™ Pro3 Armband (SWA) in gestational week 28 and defined as moderate-to- vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) accumulated in bouts ≥10 minutes. Results: Women who accumulated ≥150 MVPA minutes/week had significantly lower risk (OR=0.2, 95%CI: 0.06-0.90), for PPDS compared to those who did not accumulate any minutes/week of MVPA, adjusted for ethnic minority background, depressive symptoms in index pregnancy in the index pregnancy and self-reported pelvic girdle syndrome. The results for MVPA persisted in the sub-sample of ethnic minority women. Limitations: Numbers of cases with PPDS were limited. The SWA does not measure water activities. Due to missing data for SWA we used multiple imputations. Conclusion: Women meeting the physical activity recommendation (>150 MVPA min/week) during pregnancy have a lower risk of PPDS compared to women who are not active during pregnancy.




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