Yoga can reduce depression in pregnant women and make them feel more attached to their
unborn baby, a new study has claimed. Researchers from the University of Michigan found that mindfulness yoga may reduce depression in pregnant women and also boost maternal bonding.
Pregnancy hormones can dampen moods, but for some expectant moms, it's much worse as one in five experience major depression. Pregnant women who were identified as at a psychiatrically high risk and who participated in a 10-week mindfulness yoga intervention saw significant reductions in depressive
symptoms. Mothers-to-be also reported stronger attachment to their babies in the womb.
"Our work provides promising first evidence that mindfulness yoga may be an effective alternative to
pharmaceutical treatment for pregnant women showing signs of depression. This promotes both mother and baby wellbeing," lead author Maria Muzik, assistant professor of psychiatry and assistant research scientist at the Center for Human Growth and Development said.
"Unfortunately, few women suffering from perinatal health disorders receive treatment, exposing them and their child to the negative impact of psychiatric illness during one of the most vulnerable times," Muzik said in a statement. Mindfulness yoga - which combines meditative focus with physical poses - has proven to be a powerful method to fight stress and boost energy.
The study included women who showed signs of depression and who were between 12-26 weeks pregnant participating in 90-minute mindfulness yoga sessions that focused on poses for the pregnant body, as well as support in the awareness of how their bodies were changing to help their babies grow. The study was published in journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.