Exercise may help eliminate postpartum depression

Canadian researchers recently published a study in Obstetrics & Gynecology showing that exercise can help reduce postpartum depression symptoms.

The researchers analyzed 16 randomized controlled trials involving women who had recently given birth: 10 were treatment trials (women had depression) and 6 were prevention trials (women from the general postpartum population.

What the researchers discovered was that among the women in the prevention trials, exercise had a small effect on depression symptoms, but it had a larger effect on the women in the treatment trials.

In fact, in women who had depression before intervention, exercise increased their odds by 54% that they could resolve their depression by the time intervention finished.

The researchers concluded that “light-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise improves mild-to-moderate depressive symptoms and increases the likelihood [of resolving] mild-to-moderate depression.”

If you’ve recently had a baby and find yourself dealing with postpartum depression, consider trying exercise as a treatment option.