Dr. Beth Lewis announces “Healthy Mom II” postpartum study

Dr. Beth LewisHow Can a Motivational Exercise or Wellness Program Effect Postpartum Depression? October is National Depression Awareness Month and there’s a need to increase awareness for postpartum depression: Approximately 15% of new mothers experience depression and an even larger percentage report anxiety and/or depressive symptoms. Dr. Beth Lewis, an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology, a licensed psychologist, and an affiliated scholar of The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, is starting a second study examining the effect of exercise and wellness on mood following childbirth. The Healthy Mom II study is seeking women who are currently pregnant or are less than six weeks postpartum. Participants receive a motivational exercise program or a telephone-based health and wellness program beginning after the birth of their baby. (Participants must not take an antidepressant, but must have a history of depression. Participants receive $100 for their time. For more information call 612.625-9753, text 612.345-0325, or email mompro@umn.edu.) In the original study, only 8% of participants receiving the interventions developed postpartum depression, significantly less than what was anticipated. Dr. Lewis states that, “Prevention is preferable to treatment because once postpartum depression has been diagnosed, the mother has already experienced the negative consequences of postpartum depression such as a lack of infant bonding and an increased risk of depression in the future.” Press release: Healthy Mom II Press Release, October 16, 2014