MELBOURNE, April 7 (UPI) — Australian researchers suggest an exercise program may help new moms avoid postnatal depression.
Researchers at the University of Melbourne studied 161 new mothers with no history of depressive symptoms. They found those in the exercise group led by a physiotherapist and receiving parental education did better on psychological well-being tests than those receiving parenting education alone.
“This positive effect continued four weeks after completion of the program,” study coordinator Emily Norman said in a statement.
Norman said postnatal depression is a major health issue affecting up to 13 percent of all new mothers — in most cases beginning in the first three months after giving birth.
The study, published in Physical Therapy, found the number of women identified as “at risk” for postnatal depression was reduced by 50 percent in the group of new mothers involved in the exercise program.
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