I recently read a research article on prenatal yoga which I thought was pretty interesting and so I wanted to share some of the findings with you.
Researchers wanted to look at the impact of yoga therapy on women who were having high risk pregnancies. So the group selected for the study had at least one of the following:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Past history of pregnancy complications
- Gestational diabetes
- Pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure caused by pregnancy)
- Growth restriction
- Multiple pregnancies (e.g. twins)
- Extremes of age
Healthy women with healthy pregnancies were excluded from the study.
The yoga therapy used was holistic in its approach to well being taking into account physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
The study measured perceived stress levels at 3 different stages of pregnancy which is important because high stress levels have adverse effects on both mother and child.
The yoga group faired significantly better than the control group who just did stretching.
What the study means for pregnant women:
Prenatal yoga has been found to have a very positive impact on the autonomic nervous system of pregnant women.
You speak to any woman who has ever been pregnant and they’ll tell you it’s an emotional rollercoaster and not just due to the changes and the hormones but also due to the pressure you put on yourself to be the best pregnant mum possible.
Managing this stress is key to keeping mum and baby happy and may even help beyond pregnancy.
Yoga during pregnancy:
Your prenatal yoga should be a home practise tailored to your body and should take into consideration your lifestyle, medical conditions, strength, mobility and stage of pregnancy.
There are just too many variables to teach prenatal yoga in a group setting besides that, the benefits are far greater if you are doing 15-20minutes of tailored yoga at home daily in comparison to an hour group class weekly.
One-to-one prenatal yoga sessions really are the best way to go. That way you ensure you are getting the best support for your needs and where you are in your pregnancy.
Click on the following link for more info on one-to-one classes.
Deshpande CS, Rakshani A, Nagarathna R, Ganpat TS, Kurpad A1, Maskar R2, Nagendra HR3, Sudheer DC, Abbas R, Raghuram N, Anura K, Rita M, Ramarao NH, Yoga for high risk pregnancy: A randomised controlled trial, Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research, 2013.