The baby blues: can exercise help?

2022/03/11 Home Education and advice

The baby blues: can exercise help?
Rola Abou Assaly Rola Abou Assaly Physiotherapist

Postpartum depression is a condition that can affect anywhere from 6 to 13% of women, usually appearing in the first 3 months after childbirth. Often stigmatized by family, peers and on social media, suffering from postpartum depression can be a lonely experience. One way to help reduce the symptoms of depression and boost your mood is physical exercise. Not only does exercising help the body produce hormones called endocannabinoids that improve your mood and increase your level of calmness, but group exercising can also help get women out of the isolated environment of being at home with their new-born.

post partum baby blues

Here are a few examples of exercises a postpartum woman can easily do:

Stroller walks

No matter what the weather, taking your child for a walk outside can be beneficial for both baby and mother. Being stuck inside the house can feel isolating and claustrophobic. A change in scenery can be a good way to improve your mental well-being. Furthermore, babies love to pay attention to new things. Whether it’s the sounds of a dog barking from their yard, birds chirping in a park, or cars driving by on the road, these examples of auditory stimulation will provide an opportunity for babies to learn new things. It also doesn’t hurt that a distracted baby is less likely to cry and fuss. Another positive aspect of stroller walks is that there are many organised groups of women meeting for a walk around the city. Meeting up with other women in the same situation as you to share each other’s feelings and experiences can be comforting and stress-relieving.

Mommy and me group classes

Sometimes we need a little more motivation and encouragement to reconnect with different social groups. Organized mother and baby group classes such as Pilates, yoga, and strength training can be great way to get your heart rate up and do so in an enjoyable way with fellow women. You can get back into shape without being away from your child. These classes are usually organized to go at a pace more comfortable for new moms and allow you to take a break for breastfeeding and other necessities as needed.

Personal trainer

Training with the help of a personal trainer can be done at the gym (leave baby with dad) or from the comfort of your own home. Depending on the schedule you have with your baby, you can set up a workout with a trainer at a time most convenient for you. They can give you the extra push you may need and maximize your workout in the time you have available. Often, personal trainers, who are also moms, can understand the struggles and give us the motivation we need to push ourselves more than we would on our own.

entrainement maman post accouchement

No matter what you choose to do for physical activity, know that you are not alone. Just 20-30 minutes of exercise a few times a week can help. It helps us take care of ourselves so we can better care for our loved ones. If you are feeling depressed after childbirth, reach out to your doctor for help.

It is normal to have questions when trying something new. We now offer the possibility to schedule a FREE orientation call with a therapist to help you decide!

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