Send to

Choose Destination
Matern Child Health J. 2010 May;14(3):343-9. doi: 10.1007/s10995-009-0462-5. Epub 2009 Mar 27.

Postnatal women's feeling state responses to exercise with and without baby.

Author information

Department of Kinesiology, The University of Western Ontario, 1151 Richmond Street, London, ON, N6A 3K7, Canada.



Health research has demonstrated that physical activity during the postnatal period may play a crucial role in managing the physical and psychological challenges that women face during these times of transition. To promote physical activity during the postnatal period, mother-and-baby exercise classes are offered through several health and fitness organizations. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a moderate aerobic exercise session on feeling states when women exercised with their baby present compared to without their baby present.


Postnatal women (N = 23) participated in two 45-min exercise sessions: one with baby present and one without baby present. Exercise sessions were counterbalanced. The State Scale of the State-trait Anxiety Inventory and the Exercise-induced Feeling Inventory were used to assess feeling states pre- and post-exercise. To examine changes in feeling states during the exercise sessions and whether the changes differed between conditions, five separate mixed model ANCOVAs were conducted.


There were no differences (P > .05) in feeling states when women exercised with or without their babies. However, both exercise conditions, showed significant improvements in feeling states from pre- to post-exercise session (P < or = .001) on the Exercise-induced Feeling Inventory subscales and the State Scale of the State-trait Anxiety Inventory.


Exercising with baby present may be an effective option that allows mothers to balance care duties and a physically active lifestyle, while achieving psychological benefits associated with exercise participation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center