NEW STUDY: Can Prenatal Yoga Reduce Labour Pain?

Pregnancy is one of the most profound psychological and physical transformation your body will undergo. And a miracle of childbirth probably is the most stressful event of women’s life. So preparation is the key, and it’s well known that prenatal yoga is the best all-round physical and mental training for birth. It keeps key muscles strong and flexible and helps develop the breathing to support you, when the time comes to meet your baby.

But not only that. A new randomised controlled study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice reveal the evidence that pregnancy yoga may reduce labour pain. The trial was conducted with sixty women with their first baby on the way, aged 18-35 years old, who were randomly assigned to either an antenatal yoga program or control groups.

Participants in the yoga group were introduced to the main components of practice: asanas, chanting OM, breath techniques, meditation and yoga nidra (yogic sleep). Starting at the 26th week of pregnancy they were attending a 1-hour supervised yoga class three times a week, until their 37th week.

To estimate the benefits of yoga practice, researchers measured a level of pain using the Visual Analogue Scale three times during the labour period (on different stages of dilation).

Results of this study show that, comparing to the control group women that practiced yoga experienced significantly lower levels of pain intensity at all three times of measurements.

They had a lower percentage of childbirth stimulation and cesarean sections. Plus the durations of the 2nd and 3d stages of labour were shorter.

These documented results provide valuable scientific support for yoga as an extra option for childbirth pain management.

Prenatal yoga improves mother’s strength, flexibility and ability to become in tune with her body, which could result is a smoother labor.