Project Healty Mom 1

Health Mom 1

2009-present

Efficacy of an Exercise Intervention for the Prevention of PostPartum Depression

Funding Source: National Institute of Mental Health (R21 MH073820)

Principal Investigator: Beth Lewis, Ph.D.


The Healthy Mom study is a randomized controlled trial examining the efficacy of an exercise intervention for the prevention of postpartum depression. Specifically, postpartum women with a history of depression or a maternal family history of depression (n = 130) were randomly assigned to a telephone-based exercise intervention or a wellness/support contact control condition each lasting six months. The exercise intervention was designed to motivate postpartum women to exercise based on Social Cognitive Theory and the Transtheoretical Model. The dependent variables for this study included depression and stress. This trial is completed and publications related to this trial are ongoing. Publications related to this trial include the following:


Lewis, B.A., Gjerdingen, D., Avery, M., Guo, H., Sirard, J., Bonikowske, A.R. & Marcus, B.H. (2012). Examination of a telephone-based exercise intervention for the prevention of postpartum depression: Design, methodology, and baseline data from The Healthy Mom Study. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 33, 1150-1158. [PDF]

Lewis, B.A., Gjerdingen, D., Avery, M., Sirard, J., Guo, H., Schuver, K. & Marcus, B.H. (2014). A randomized trial examining a physical activity intervention for the prevention of postpartum depression: The Healthy Mom trial. Mental Health & Physical Activity. 7, 42-49. doi: 10.1016/j.mhpa.2013.11.002.

Lewis, B.A., Schuver, K., Gjerdingen, D., Avery, M., Sirard, J., & Marcus, B.H. (2015). The relationship between prenatal antidepressant use and the decision to breastfeed among women enrolled in a randomized exercise intervention trial. Journal of Human Lactation. DOI: 10.1177/0890334415592153.

Lewis, B.A., Billing, L., Schuver, K., Gjerdingen, D., Avery, M., & Marcus, B. H. (2017). The relationship between employment status and depressive symptoms among women at risk for postpartum depression. Women’s Health. doi: 10.1177/1745505717708475