Psychological effects of exercise for pregnant women: a systematic review

Abstract

Pregnancy causes psychological changes. Various distress can occur and some previous studies have shown the positive impact of exercise on the psychological condition of pregnant women. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic mapping review of the literature that explored the psychological effect of sport in pregnant women. A literature search was carried out on articles published between 2010-2020 on PubMed, Science Direct, Cochrane Library, EBSCO, Cinahl and ProQuest. The search identified quantitative research studies on the psychological effect of exercise for pregnant women. Each study’s bias was assessed using Review Manager 5.3. Nine articles were analyzed through data extraction. The types of exercise discussed in this systematic review include supervised exercise sessions, aerobic dance, endurance training, interval stationary cycling and the intervention followed American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) guidelines. Pregnant women who have exercise have improved psychological conditions such as decreased sadness, hopelessness, anxiety and the incidence of antenatal depression. Furthermore, pregnant women also showed an enjoyment to exercise. Exercise may have a positive effect on psychological state and reduce risk of psychological distress for pregnant women.

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