Mindfulness yoga reduces depressive symptoms in pregnant women: study

A new study demonstrates how mindfulness yoga can reduce depressive symptoms in expecting mothers.

Photo: lululemon athletica/Flickr.com

Pregnancy is not necessarily a time for “cooing at strange babies in the street and gleefully learning how to knit tiny hats,” says Jessica Grose, in her three-part series for Slate on her prenatal depression. For women with depressive symptoms, such as Grose, and even women who are simply coping with the massive changes to their bodies, there appears to be a shift in thinking about the image of happy and glowing expectant mothers.

Indeed, the prevalence of depression during pregnancy has spearheaded studies into the effects of mindfulness yoga on the mental health of pregnant women. A recent study has turned up substantial results.

Maria Muzik, M.D., lead author of the study, told The Times of India: “Our work provides promising first evidence that mindfulness yoga may be an effective alternative to pharmaceutical treatment for pregnant woman showing signs of depression.” Muzik is assistant professor of psychiatry and assistant research scientist at the Center for Human Growth and Development.

In the study, pregnant woman identified as high risk individuals for psychiatric issues participated in a 10-week mindfulness yoga program. They reported significant reductions in depressive symptoms.

In the study, published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.

To read The Times of India story, click here.