Postpartum, Pregnancy, Research

Barriers to exercise in postpartum women: a mixed methods systematic review

Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy

Rebekah Edie, SPT; Alexis Lacewell, SPT; Christine Streisel, SPT; LaurenWheeler, SPT; Ellie George, SPT; Jordan Wrigley, MA, MSLS; Laura Pietrosimone, PT, DPT, PhD; Carol Figuers, PT, EdD

Exercise is an important component to health, yet studies have shown that postpartum people are less likely to meet daily activity recommendations.  Until the barriers that limit participation in physical activity are properly addressed, people in this population may not get the care they need. Physical therapists can play a vital role in guiding postpartum people towards wellness. A *free access* mixed methods systematic review aimed to explore the barriers to exercise that people face in the postpartum period. 

The study suggested the following way in which physical therapists can best support this patient population:

  1. Education on the importance of sleep and suggestions for sleep health strategies and energy conservation
  2. Informing parents about local fitness classes
  3. Recommend modifications for exercise to make it enjoyable and safe
  4. Education about time management strategies
  5. Create an exercise plan that can be conducted indoors if needed
  6. Create exercise goals that are realistic and a way to monitor progress

Read the *free access* systematic review to find out more about the barriers to exercise in postpartum.

Barriers to exercise in postpartum women: a mixed methods systematic review

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