Being a doula and a yoga teacher I’m convinced of the benefits of yoga during pregnancy. Because I get to witness how much easier and faster a physiological birth could be when a mother-to-be practices regularly. But what science says? I was curious whether or not there is any evidence on prenatal yoga. Surprisingly, I found many small studies with control groups! Here are their results…
Yoga increases comfort during pregnancy
Have you experience heaviness, back or hips ache, shortness of breath, insomnia, low energy, swelling? That is not “new normal” while you are carrying a baby. That is a sign that your body needs support. Studies of 2010 in Taiwan showed “Decreased pregnancy discomfort and increased childbirth self-efficacy in the yoga group when compared to standard care”. Besides, yoga practice is effective for emotional state. It lowers anxiety and worries before delivery. That is what I hear often from my students. And that was also proved by a small study in 2010 called “Effects of integrated yoga on quality of life and interpersonal relationship of pregnant women”. The researchers found “significant improvements for physical, psychological, environmental, and social” areas. More about this research here
Less pain and shorter time in labor
Isn’t it simply amazing!? What a gift and empowerment to be able to improve your own quality of labor by simple and regular yoga practice. I notice that a lot of asanas could be used in delivery as well, to ease sensations and help baby to descend faster. Here you can find the best asanas for birth preparation, however, note that you need correct and safe adaptation for your body type.
The study of 2008 named “Yoga during pregnancy: effects on maternal comfort, labor pain and birth outcomes” says “Experimental group demonstrated significantly higher levels of comfort, lower levels of self-reported, and experimenter observed pain throughout labour and shorter duration of labour than the control group”. Experimental group was practising prenatal yoga at list 3 times a week for 1 hour. So, consistency matters too.
Positive influence on baby’s development
Many babies “start” yoga in their mother’s belly. During exercises they experience hormonal change (more endorphins) and have better oxygen and nutrients supply caused by healthier blood circulation around the uterus. That sounds like a strong foundation for feature wellbeing, isn’t it?
The study from 2005 by Narendran S discovered that in the yoga intervention group the number of infants with weight more than 2500g was greater, women had lower duration of labor and less cases of poor weight gain in infants and pre-eclampsia. The control group was not doing yoga, but they were walking 30 min twice daily.
Have you been practicing yoga when you were pregnant? Was it helpful? Please, share below your thoughts and experience.
And if you are pregnant now and feel the call to practice safe and most effective for your body – welcome to my online classes. Contact me here email@example.com