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A new study from the University of Michigan says that practicing yoga
might help pregnant women cope with depression during pregnancy as well as
boost maternal bonding.
The study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice included 18 women, who were between 12 and 26 weeks pregnant, and considered at high psychiatric risk based on their scores on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Screen.
The women were asked to self-rate their depressive symptoms, attachment to their unborn children and their mindfulness, before sent to undergo 10 weeks of 90-minute sessions of mindfulness yoga. The findings, published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, showed that the women found significant relief from depressive symptoms and also reported stronger attachment to their babies in the womb.
While the study is small, it adds to the growing body of evidence that suggests pregnant women should opt for non-traditional treatments (herbal medicine, relaxation techniques and mind-body work) when dealing with depression. While medications such as antidepressants can
women are reluctant to receive the treatment because they are
worried it's unsafe for the unborn child.
Previous studies have shown that prenatal yoga can also benefit future moms beyond their mental health. The Mayo Clinic reported that it could also help with back pain, nausea, muscle strength and sleep. It could additionally decrease the risk of certain labor-related conditions, such as preterm labor and high blood pressure from pregnancy.