postnatal depression

Exercise to Battle Postnatal Depression

According to Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) postnatal depression is effecting more than 1 in 7 new mums each year in Australia.

Accredited Exercise Physiologist and women’s health expert, Esme Soan, explains why it’s important to understand the difference between ‘feeling a bit down’ and having a mental condition.

“Postnatal depression is different from the ‘baby blues’, which many women experience in the early days after giving birth associated with hormonal cascades. Some signs of PND are consistent low mood, anxiety, feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness or hopelessness.”

For a better over look at postnatal depression and its symptoms and signs, visit Beyond Blue.

“We know depression can impact on your ability to complete your everyday tasks and activities, let alone the additional demands of caring for a newborn.”

“It can be hard to manage alone, so it’s important to be aware of the signs of postnatal depression, and to seek help from family, friends and professionals.”

Exercising before and during pregnancy is healthy for both you and baby, however evidence shows that continuing to exercise during your post-partum recovery is a vital tool in enhancing mental and physical health and an effective treatment in reducing the symptoms and severity of postnatal depression.

Exercise is time for you

Exercise is a form of medicine, and we know it can help improve your mood, as well as assist with your sleep quality and energy levels, as well as your physical recovery from pregnancy and delivery.

Some mothers who are struggling may feel like exercise is the last thing they want to do, but if we dig deeper into the science of exercise the benefits are there to see.

Try to shift your views on exercise as a chore, and instead let is be an opportunity for you to have some time to reconnect with yourself and give your mind a break.

A great place to start can be the free Mindful Running Pack released by the Nike Running Club, the app can provide you with guided runs that let you focus on your breathing and your thoughts.

Important Things to Note:

  • If you are concerned about postnatal depression seek advice from your doctor as soon as you can.
  • Make sure you get clearance from your doctor at a post-partum check-up prior to seeing an accredited exercise professional such as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist or Accredited Exercise Scientist.
  • Not all exercises are suitable for postpartum women, so it’s important to seek professional advice early to ensure you receive expert care from an exercise professional.