Yoga Has Big Wellbeing Benefits for Pregnant Women and Their Babies

by Chris Curley on August 10, 2012

Practicing mindfulness-based yoga during pregnancy improves the mental health of expectant mothers and helps them bond with their unborn children, a new study from the University of Michigan says.

As many as one in five pregnant women experience major depression, and depressive symptoms (like feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope with stress) also increase the risk of inadequate weight gain, preeclampsia, premature birth, and postpartum bonding problems.

So, it’s significant that after 10 weeks of 90-minute mindfulness yoga sessions, women at risk for depressive disorders saw significant improvements in their mental wellbeing and attachment to their babies, according to the study.

The results even suggest that “mindfulness yoga may be an effective alternative to pharmaceutical treatment for pregnant women showing signs of depression,” says lead author Maria Muzik, M.D.

The study appears online in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.

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