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Reducing Stress During Pregnancy and Childbirth with Yoga

Author: Dublin Holistic Centre

16th May 2014

Reducing Stress During Pregnancy and

Childbirth with Yoga


While many have been aware of the benefits of yoga during pregnancy for a long time (some for centuries) there has been little in the way of academic research to confirm this effectiveness.

A recent report on the Manchester University website describes a newly published study that has looked into the effectiveness of practising yoga during pregnancy. Many will not be surprised to learn that it is effective but it is very interesting to see actual figures a measurement of how much it reduces stress.

According to the report, the study also showed it is not only effective at reducing stress during pregnancy but that it can also lower the risk of post natal depression and anxiety.

The research was funded by Tommy’s, a charity for babies. Jacqui Clinton, a health campaigns director at Tommy’s points out that 1 in 10 mothers suffer post natal depression. This is typically a result of anxiety experienced during pregnancy.

In spite of how common it is many do not go for treatment for fear of stigma. Yoga as a preventative measure means they are less likely to suffer this pre-natal anxiety in the first place.

Dr James Newham who carried out the research pointed out that anxiety during pregnancy can also lead to early delivery and low birth weight children. Mothers who experience less anxiety during pregnancy give birth to healthier full term babies. Practising yoga during pregnancy is an effective way to reduce this stress and anxiety.

Professor McAlpin a Yoga trainer and senior researcher in the trial said there was also evidence that yoga could reduce both the need for pain relief during pregnancy and the need for a caesarian.

The reductions in anxiety were substantial, according to the study. Between the groups that practised yoga and those who didn’t, those who practised Yoga self reported as being one third less anxious than those who did not. Measuring levels of stress hormones in the blood showed that the Yoga group had 14% less of the hormone.

Pregnancy Yoga involves specially adapted positions for women who are expecting. This provides an excellent form of exercise that will not over exert, enabling mom’s to stay fit and healthy.

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