Exercise is crucial for women after pregnancy loss – InSight+

Current knowledge suggests that early exercise intervention for people experiencing pregnancy loss may be a feasible method to reduce the risk of psychological morbidity while improving physical well-being.

Your pregnancy is no longer viable is not an uncommon phrase. In fact, about one in four women will hear some iteration of this during their conception journey. Pregnancy loss is often called a silent trauma and produces significant physical and mental health outcomes in previously pregnant women. Depression can be about four times higher in those who have experienced a pregnancy loss and of these women, about 33% may experience thoughts of self-harm.

The trauma associated with this loss is well recognized. One study reported that although a significant proportion of women experienced anxiety and depression after pregnancy loss, an additional 28% of women met criteria for PTSD, of which symptoms may persist for three months after the loss. Furthermore, in a longitudinal study, 55% of women experienced probable psychological morbidity within three months of the loss, and although this gradually decreased over time, some women were still experiencing psychological morbidity at one year after pregnancy loss.

It is common that during the period following pregnancy loss women report a detachment from their physical body, experience feelings of shock, guilt, distress and shame, and abandonment and dissatisfaction with follow-up, especially emotional support, from professionals of health Considering the importance of any of these factors individually and/or in combination, change is warranted to provide women with an acceptable level of support for their physical and psychological well-being to improve their current health status in times of need and for the benefit of any future. pregnancies Currently, there are limited strategies to prevent psychological morbidity and promote the physical and mental well-being of previously pregnant women after loss. Evidence suggests that an early exercise intervention may be a feasible and cost-effective strategy to reduce the risk of psychological morbidity and improve clinical symptoms of depression while improving physical well-being and fertility.

Early exercise intervention may be a feasible way to support physical and mental well-being after pregnancy loss (GP PIXSTOCK / Shutterstock).

How can exercise support women who have suffered a pregnancy loss?

Exercise can have multiple physical and mental health benefits, including improved cardiovascular function, favorable metabolic changes, weight management, and improved psychological benefits associated with body image, perceived health status and reducing symptoms of depression.

psychological well-being

The mood-regulating effects of exercise are well established and have been suggested to improve physiological parameters that increase the risk or severity of psychological morbidity. Exercise is a well-known treatment modality for depressive symptoms, with efficacy that is claimed to be similar to pharmacological treatments in certain settings. Exercise has also been shown to improve emotional well-being and reduce anxiety symptoms in the postpartum period. Although a recent meta-analysis suggests a dose-dependent positive association between higher levels of physical activity and lower risk of depression, regular exercise may exert protective effects against future depression regardless of exercise intensity. Even single moderate-intensity exercise has been shown to positively benefit emotional regulation and can support emotional recovery after a stressor. These effects can be seen with as little as 15 minutes of exercise, with improvements in both anger and anxiety regulation following a stressful event.

Fertility, fertility and future pregnancy

Exercise may produce favorable outcomes on fertility, with moderate-intensity physical activity associated with improved fertility for all women, and vigorous-intensity exercise associated with improved fertility for women classified as obese or overweight. These results extend to infertility, with a 2022 meta-analysis reporting an inverse relationship between physical activity and infertility, with moderate to high levels of physical activity identified as a protective factor. Walking for more than ten minutes in a single exercise session has been found to improve fertility in women classified as overweight or obese with a history of pregnancy loss.

Current knowledge suggests that an early exercise intervention for people experiencing pregnancy loss may be a feasible method to reduce the risk of psychological morbidity and improve clinical symptoms of depression, while improving the physical well-being of the woman. Therefore, clinicians supporting women in the post-loss period should consider recommending that women seek guidance from appropriately trained allied health professionals, such as a licensed exercise physiologist (AEP ), which can help women participate in an individualized regimen that promotes a gradual process. increase in the volume of exercise performed over time.

What is an AEP and how can they support women who have suffered a pregnancy loss?

AEPs are university-qualified allied health professionals who have the specialist knowledge, skills and competences to safely and effectively design, deliver, evaluate and adapt movement, physical activity and exercise-based interventions to facilitate and optimizing health status, function, recovery and independence for people with acute, subacute or chronic medical conditions, injuries or disabilities. Their knowledge and training enables them to provide personalized exercise programs that consider the individual’s medical history, exercise history and complications associated with pregnancy and loss, and other relevant health conditions, which is based in objective tests and evaluations to ensure an individualized and gradual return. the previous activity is achieved.

Where can I find an AEP?

You can find an AEP in your local area by checking the online directory provided by Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA), the accrediting body for exercise and sport science professionals: www.essa. org.au/find-aep.

what to do

Our current understanding of exercise in the immediate period following a pregnancy loss is limited. Research is warranted to (i) determine the specific components related to exercise prescription (frequency, intensity, timing, and type) needed to improve psychological morbidity and physical well-being, and (ii) improve our understanding of the needs unique to women related to exercise during this period. to optimally care for and support women after a pregnancy loss.

Dr Tegan Hartmann is Senior Lecturer in Exercise Science at Charles Sturt University.

Dr Danielle Girard is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with Exercise and Sport Sciences Australia and Professor of Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of South Australia.

Statements or opinions expressed in this article reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official policy of the AMA, theMJAorInSight+unless otherwise stated.

Subscribe for freeInSight+weekly newsletterhere. It is available to all readers, not just registered doctors.

If you would like to submit an article for consideration, please submit a Word version to mjainsight-editor@ampco.com.au.

#Exercise #crucial #women #pregnancy #loss #InSight
Image Source : insightplus.mja.com.au

Leave a Comment