Effects of Postpartum Exercise Program on Fatigue and Depression during "Doing-the-Month" period

Wednesday, 9 July 2008
Yili Ko, RN, EdD , Department of Nursing, Fu-Jen Catholic University, Taipei county, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: Understand a low-intensive exercise program could be a good example to reduce the postpartum women's fatigue.

Learning Objective 2: Understand Chinese postpartum women practicing custum of "Tso-Yueh-Tzu"(Doing-the-month) place was changed from home to maternity center.

The study was aimed to explore the effect of a exercise program on the level of fatigue and depression among the postpartum women in the “doing-the-month” centers (maternity centers). Postpartum related studies have not focused on women's fatigue, but mostly paying attention on their depression. In addition, no exercise study has been conducted in the “doing-the-month center”. A low-intensive exercise program was specifically designed for 31 subjects, including in the intervention group (IG); 30 subjects in the control group (CG) took the traditional postpartum care. Those in the IG had to participate at least 6 times in the exercise program throughout postpartum. On the other hand, all the subjects were asked to fill out fatigue and depression questionnaires before and after the program, (pre/post test). The Fatigue Symptom Checklist was used to measure fatigue, and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CESD) was used to confirm the development of depression. As a result, there were statistically significant differences between the IG and CG in the levels of fatigue. The levels of physical fatigue, psychological fatigue, and fatigue symptoms in the IG were statistically improved (all p< .05). However, no significant depression changes in two groups were found. The results of this study demonstrated that a low-intensive exercise program could be a good example for clinicians and researchers to reduce the postpartum women's fatigue.