Having a newborn is the most exciting and precious thing in the world.

But after a few weeks of broken sleep and the constant changing of nappies your body begins to feel drained and lethargic.

It can take its toll on even the strongest women and that high can drop to a low point. You can begin to feel lonely and depressed.

An estimated 140,000 women suffer from mental health problems during pregnancy or in the months after their baby is born each year in the UK.

It’s totally understandable! What can we do to try and help ourselves?

Researchers from the University of Birmingham published a study in the British Journal of General Practice, concluding that ‘exercise – either in group sessions, individually or when added to other interventions – is effective in reducing postpartum depressive symptoms.’

Physical activity has numerous benefits for everyone and as the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can help improve mood and reduce anxiety, it should be considered as a management and preventative option for postpartum women with depressive symptoms.

So how does exercise help?

  • During exercise the body releases feel-good endorphins which enhance your sense of well-being.
  • Exercise can help you to gain self-confidence and feel better about your appearance and help you to work towards a goal
  • You can socially interact with others and take your mind off negative thoughts which can feed depression.

The main thing is not to think of exercise as a chore. Find what you enjoy and set realistic goals. Tailor it to your needs and ability. Give yourself credit for every step you take.

Talk to your doctor if you think you are ready to start an exercise regime and you can start your journey of well-being.