Posted by: Trudy Prevost | May 20, 2017

Yoga for Depression in Pregnancy

Image result for image pregnancy yogaOne of the main reasons I wanted to be a Yoga Teacher was to share the Benefits of Pregnancy Yoga to help other women who were traveling through life and found themselves on the pregnancy journey. I used yoga in many ways during my child bearing years.

While raising my children my yoga practice kept me healthy; more calm and mindful during my parenting years. I was not a perfect parent but it helped.

Rainbow Yoga has been providing Yoga for Pregnancy Programs for over 15 years.

Science has shown yoga to be so beneficial that the governments of some countries provide yoga to encourage low risk pregnancies and births.

Birthing was an intense but manageable experience for both children I had. I feel my yoga practice and yoga lifestyle prepared my body for pregnancy; contributed to conceiving easily at 31; kept me healthy during pregnancy; contributed to the health of my babies; eased my labour and birth; assisted me to have a medication free birth and  helped  my body recover after birth. I had very few challenges but with trimester adaptations  yoga can easily help with many common challenges of pregnancy. Some yoga practices are particularly beneficial for pregnancy. Find a trained yoga teacher if at all possible so they can share The Cautions and Adaptations  and the Tips for Yoga in Pregnancy  we need to learn during pregnancy.

Psychologically I was definitely more emotional than usual but I did not feel depressed for long periods of time. At the time I never really considered this as a benefit of my practice but science has shown this to be true as well.

In 2014 the University of Colorado announced that “Mindfulness techniques can help protect pregnant women against depression”.

Mindfulness Techniques can mean many things – in this study they taught: prenatal yoga, walking meditation exercises that could be done later while soothing a baby, and shorter practices that could be easily integrated into the busy lives of new moms. The lessons also specifically addressed worry, which can be common during pregnancy, and put particular focus on kindness for oneself and one’s baby. –

I found it interesting that the researchers remarked that they were surprised by the number of pregnant women who expressed interest in participating in a mindfulness program, even though they didn’t meet the criteria to participate in this study. A high percentage of the women who began the courses—86 percent—completed the study, a sign that the women found the sessions valuable, Dimidjian said.

In 2016 the same university announced “Pregnant and postpartum women at risk of depression are less likely to suffer depression when they meditate or get in a yoga pose than when they are treated with psychotherapy or antidepressants.”

The Mindfulness Therapy Program they used included meditation, yoga and walking birthing and labour meditations; other mindfulness techniques many of them ancient yoga techniques such as Breath Control and Awareness Techniques; Creative Visualization; cognitive therapy and yoga postures and movements  as well as strategies to relate differently to negative thoughts and to bring greater self-care into their daily lives. The women were also assigned practices to do at home each day.

The scientists looked at 42 women who had had at least one previous episode of major depression. They took eight mindfulness classes and were asked to complete homework assignments to develop their mindfulness skills.

Data shows that risk of depression is high during reproductive years. The risk will be higher if the woman had already suffered from the condition earlier. Nearly 30 percent of the cured cases relapse during pregnancy, according to the authors.

Genetic predisposition, social factors and hormonal changes are some of the major factors behind this occurrence. Treating the mental condition early is crucial as a prolonged depression can lead to poor weight gain, preeclampsia, premature labour and trouble in bonding with the new-born.

Women in the MBCT group achieved 40 percent reduced risk of having a relapse than others.

Yoga can truly improve our journey through pregnancy.

Rainbow Yoga Pregnancy Classes encourage father and mother to attend so both can have a little quality time together and connect over the pregnancy.

 

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