A recent study suggests that physical exercise during pregnancy may reduce depressive symptoms. This study from Spain included 184 healthy pregnant women (31.37 ± 3.62 years). Women randomized to the exercise group (EG) participated in a supervised exercise program consisting of three, 55- to 60-min sessions per week throughout pregnancy. A total of 167 pregnant women were analyzed; 90 in the exercise group and 77 in the control group. Significant differences were found between the two groups at the end of the study in terms of level of depressive symptoms as measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D): 7.67 ± 6.30 in the exercise group vs. 11.34 ± 9.74 in the control group (p = .005). The percentage of women who were depressed was also lower in the exercise group (12.2%) as compared to the control group (24.7%).
Perales M, Refoyo I, Coteron J, Bacchi M, Barakat R. Exercise During Pregnancy Attenuates Prenatal Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Eval Health Prof. 2014 May 28. [Epub ahead of print]