Physical Activity during Pregnancy and its Relationship with the Functional Status of Primiparous Women Six Weeks after Childbirth: A Cohort Study QC12-QC16
Department of Midwifery, Students’ Research Committee, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery,
Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Shariatie Ave., Tabriz, Iran. Post code: 513897977, P.O. Box: 51745-347.
Introduction: The transition to motherhood is a major life event that affects all aspects of psychosocial functioning.
Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between physical activity during pregnancy and postpartum functional status.
Materials and Methods: This cohort study was carried out on 165 Iranian women 18-35 years old referred to health centers of Tehran from April 2013 to March 2014. Pregnant women were selected by proportional distribution to each center. International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was completed by pregnant women in 28-34 weeks and they were categorized into two groups; low (68 patients), and moderate and high (97 cases) groups, according to the physical activity level. Follow-up in both groups continued until 6 weeks postpartum and Inventory of Functional Status after Childbirth (IFSAC) was completed at the end of six week postpartum period. Independent-t test was used for data analysis.
Results: No statistically significant difference was observed between the two groups in terms of sociodemographic characteristics (p>0.05). In the low physical activity group, the mean (standard deviation) of the total score of physical activity was 1680.9 (2204.7), and in the moderate and high group, it was 3182.6 (3946.5). Two groups were not significantly different in terms of the mean score of functional status (p=0.279).
Conclusion: The results of the present study showed that physical activity during the third trimester of pregnancy has no significant effects on functional status after childbirth in primiparous women. Appropriate strategies should be adopted to encourage women to participate in physical activities so as to promote maternal and neonatal health during pregnancy and after childbirth.