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Womens Health Issues. 2015 Mar-Apr;25(2):134-41. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2014.12.003.

Potential for prenatal yoga to serve as an intervention to treat depression during pregnancy.

Author information

1
Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Providence, Rhode Island; Butler Hospital, Psychosocial Research Program, Providence, Rhode Island; Women & Infants' Hospital of Rhode Island, Center for Women's Behavioral Health, Providence, Rhode Island. Electronic address: Cynthia_Battle@brown.edu.
2
Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Providence, Rhode Island; Butler Hospital, Psychosocial Research Program, Providence, Rhode Island; Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, Department of Family Medicine, Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
3
Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Providence, Rhode Island; Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, Department of Family Medicine, Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
4
The Motion Center, Yoga and Dance Studio, Providence, Rhode Island.
5
Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior, Providence, Rhode Island; Butler Hospital, Psychosocial Research Program, Providence, Rhode Island.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

When left untreated, antenatal depression can have a serious negative impact on maternal, and infant outcomes. Many affected women do not obtain treatment for depression owing to difficulties accessing care or because they do not find standard antidepressant treatments to be acceptable during pregnancy. This study examined the acceptability and feasibility of a gentle prenatal yoga intervention, as a strategy for treating depression during pregnancy.

METHODS:

We developed a 10-week prenatal yoga program for antenatal depression and an accompanying yoga instructors' manual, and enrolled 34 depressed pregnant women from the community into an open pilot trial. We measured change in maternal depression severity from before to after the intervention.

RESULTS:

Results suggested that the prenatal yoga intervention was feasible to administer and acceptable to the women enrolled. No study-related injuries or other safety issues were observed during the trial. On average, participants' depression severity decreased significantly by the end of the intervention based on both observed-rated and self-report depression assessment measures.

CONCLUSION:

The current study suggests that prenatal yoga may be a viable approach to addressing antenatal depression, one that may have advantages in terms of greater acceptability than standard depression treatments. Research and policy implications are discussed.

PMID:
25747520
PMCID:
PMC4393850
DOI:
10.1016/j.whi.2014.12.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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