the objective of the study was to compare the differences in psychological well-being and quality of life during pregnancy and post partum of obese physically active women and obese physically inactive women enroled in a weight gain restriction programme. We also wanted to explore whether physical activity influences weight change or health status during pregnancy.
a prospective intervention study.
antenatal care clinic.
a total of 74 obese pregnant women in a physically active group and 79 obese women in a physically inactive group.
the women kept diaries of their physical activity during pregnancy and answered the Beck Anxiety Inventory, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and Medical Study Short-Form Health Survey in gestational weeks 15 and 35 and 11 weeks post partum. Physical activity was measured in metabolic equivalents.
the physically active women experienced fewer depressive symptoms and estimated an improved quality of life during their pregnancies as measured by physical functioning, bodily pain, social functioning, role limitations due to emotional problems and general mental health as compared with the physically inactive women. There were no differences between the groups in gestational weight gain or weight change from early pregnancy to post partum or in prevalence of complications.
physical activity among obese pregnant women provides better psychological well-being and improved quality of life, but does not prevent weight change.
staff at Antenatal Care Clinics that face obese pregnant women, should encourage and emphasise the benefits of being physically active throughout pregnancy.