Women who use yoga to relax during pregnancy can reduce their risk of developing anxiety and depression, a new study has proved for the first time. Stress during pregnancy has been linked to premature birth, low birth weight and increased developmental and behavioural problems in children. High levels of anxiety during pregnancy are also linked with postnatal depression, which can lead to later mental health problems.
It has long been assumed by medical professionals that yoga can help reduce stress levels in mothers, but the theory had never been tested until recently. Now academics from the University of Manchester, working with colleagues in Newcastle, have shown that women who attend one yoga class a week for eight weeks had decreased anxiety scores compared to those who received normal antenatal treatment. A single session of pregnancy yoga was found to reduce anxiety by one third and stress hormone levels by 14 per cent.
At Swiss Physio, we offer pregnancy yoga classes on Fridays 6-7pm with Clare Renwick, a fully qualified Pregnancy Yoga teacher.
Clare Renwick, Pregnancy yoga teacher