Regular Physical Activity during Pregnancy Improves Maternal Depressive Symptoms

Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Community Medicine,2021,7,1,xx-xx.
Published:March 2021
Type:Letter to Editor
Author(s) affiliations:

Ibrahim Ahmad Abubakar

Department of Physiotherapy, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital, Bauchi state, NIGERIA.


Dear Editor,

Depressive symptoms, such as extended feeling of sadness, decreased selfesteem, suicidal propensities, unconcern in activities, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, low energy, difficulty in making decisions, sleep disorders, anxiety, petulance, and changes in eating patterns are related with an increased risk of health conditions such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, and dementia.[1] Women of childbearing age of about 22% have been estimated to have experienced depression at some point in their lives and pregnancy is a vulnerable time for depression compared with other periods of life.[2]

Depression is found to be higher during pregnancy than that in the postpartum period of childbearing women which was shown to be 10% - 30% prevalent in several studies.[3] Progesterone and oestrogens are found to be in large quantity during pregnancy period and are likely the cause of depression during pregnancy, it influences the neural structures that are known to be important in regulating mood by raising the sensitivity to changes in levels of b-endorphins and dopamine.[4]

Depressive symptoms that occur during pregnancy period have a negative impact on the child which include behavioural problems at the early few months of life, impaired development of child’s cerebrum, risk of preterm deliveries, difficulties in mother–infant bonding, difficulties in feeding by infants and problems with childhood overweight, decreased birth weight, and lengthier hospital stays.[5]