The Effectiveness of Prenatal Yoga


The Effectiveness of Prenatal Yoga


Contemporary society has witnessed amplified apprehension for better health. On a daily basis, a number of individuals become more health conscious and strive to develop their health status. According to the World Health Organization ‘Health’ is termed as a state of the physical, mental, and spiritual welfare of an individual. In the recent past, different methods have been developed and implemented that are aimed at improving people’s health. Men, women, and children are becoming aware of different methods, which can be used to cure or prevent different diseases and conditions.

This research paper will focus on the health of pregnant mothers. Pregnant mothers are faced with a great challenge of safeguarding both their health and the health of the unborn baby. Pregnant mothers are faced with different problems during the nine months pregnancy period. They experience physical discomfort, mental strain, as well as emotional problems. Different health-related methods have been developed with the aim of assisting these pregnant mothers. The aim of this thesis is to study the effectiveness of the prenatal Yoga method for pregnant mothers.

The reason for this study is to find valuable information, which can be used by pregnant mothers to improve their health during pregnancy without necessarily taking medicines (Nair, 2009). Contemporary scholarships point out that it may be operative in refining pregnancy, labor, and birth results. The drive of this essay is to assess the prevailing literature on yoga for pregnancy.

Literature Review

Yoga is considered to be a prehistoric mind and body exercise that has its roots in India and is becoming progressively known and applied in developed nations as a health practice for an assortment of immunological, mental, neuromuscular, and painful situations. Yoga is derived from a word that openly interprets as to bond or more extensively to toil towards an integrated experience of the person and better health.

Mainly acknowledged for its latent to form equilibrium along with responsive, psychological, bodily, and divine proportions, yoga is an all-inclusive system that exploits physical bearings, breathing workouts, meditation, and reflective practice. Even though there is a glut of pedigrees and schools of yoga that exist in contemporary society, practices naturally comprise a minimum of the physical bearings and breathing workouts. Yoga is presumed to modify nervous system parameters and physical system operative and advance an individual’s mental welfare.

Alternatively, pregnancy is an ailment in which women experience distinctive physical transformations and stress and are correlated by inimitable physical and mental difficulties. There arises an urge to cope with the innumerable responsive, physical, pain, and mental conditions that sprout during the phases of pregnancy and labor. The welfare and eminence of life of the pregnant woman are precarious for ideal pregnancy results; self-soothing practices, mental education, and relaxation are predominantly imperative in this provisional and evocative spell.  Maternal strain and apprehension throughout pregnancy are related to multiple adverse concerns for the fetus and consequent growth.

For example, fetal contact to maternal strain and strain-related peptides is a hazardous aspect for negative results on the encoding of the nervous system and brain morphology of the fetus, newborns, and kids. Primary gestational strains exposure is linked with adverse consequences at altered evolving phases, decelerated development and interactive response designs in fetuses, modifications in neonatal strains regulation and behavioral responses to strains, dull intellectual tasks and expressive and behavioral complications in infants and kids, and condensed brain volume in extents connected to cognitive task in toddlers (Lee & Atwood, 2013).

Furthermore, prenatal motherly strains and nervousness might be hazard issues for latent undesirable concerns for children in the future, such as the improvement of attention shortage hyperactivity syndrome or depressed performance on features of decision-making function. It is postulated that maternal strain may disturb the intrauterine atmosphere and change fetal growth throughout acute phases, through either instigation of the placental strain system, triggering the discharge and flow of corticotrophin discharging hormone, or through moderated blood run and oxygen to the uterus. Consequently, it is imperative to control maternal strain and offer pregnant women with managing approaches for the predictable strains and variations that ensue through pregnancy to intensify the value of life and to make the most of infant health and growth.

Physical workout tends to be useful in the supervision of stress and additional related disorders or symptoms associated with pregnancy, for example, diabetes, mood swings, aches, and weight gain. Engaging in physical workouts during pregnancy was formerly considered as a precarious behavior, even though it is gradually accepted as harmless and is encouraged in mundane prenatal attention. According to Melzer and other authors (Melzer et al, 2010) routine physical workout has maternal and fetal benefits that offset threats and commend at least 20 minutes of workout, most days of the week for the inhibition and cure of disorders linked with dormancy, for instance, hypertension.

Mind and body workouts that nurture overall health, moderate pain, and escalates self-awareness, for example, yoga, may perhaps be mostly definite in addressing both the physical and emotional facets of pregnancy and labor. Further correlated practices, including biofeedback, introspection, and imagery, are found to lessen nervousness and endocrine actions, for instance, cortisol, in expecting women during labor. Relaxation treatments for discomfort management in labor have also come to be prevalent as women are looking for substitutes to customary treatment methods, including painkillers and anesthesia, which are intrusive and occasionally linked with adverse side effects for both the expecting mother and infant.

Labor discomfort is an independent and multifaceted experience that differs according to every woman’s discrete insights of and reactions to nociceptive facts during labor and is prejudiced by psychosocial, mental, and physical aspects. It is proposed that medical practitioners adopt a ranging disciplinary method to discomfort control in labor and integrate both pharmacological and non-pharmacological tactics that can be personalized to personal inclinations and requirements.

Self-reliance, self-efficacy, and coping aptitude are considered significant for an optimistic labor experience, and motherly prenatal concern is adversely linked with pre-labor self-effectiveness for childbirth and labor discomfort. Supplementary mental factors, such as discomfort misfortunes, have been linked with superior lumbopelvic discomfort throughout pregnancy and with the reduced postnatal physical capability and can similarly envisage the appeal for discomfort liberation during labor.

Yoga may prove to be effective in the lessening of undesirable symptoms connected with pregnancy and labor. Known that 30% of women aged 25–30 years at present practice yoga, it is vital to appraise its effects on the motherly experience of strain, nervousness, discomfort, and additional variables other than on labor and birth effects.


Empirical Research on the Effectiveness of Prenatal Yoga

The paper highlights studies conducted independently by two different reviewers, K. Curtis, and J. Katz, to recognize entirely controlled clinical practices of yoga and pregnancy. The searches adopted the EBSCOHost Web databases among others (Curtis et al, 2011). The two principal terms, Yoga and pregnancy, were connected while employing the Boolean operator in order to come up with the required results.

Current evaluations of yoga for pregnancy linked results established that yoga is positively indicated for application in pregnancy but the discoveries are not absolute since certain trials encompassed in that assessment were uncontrolled and others revealed meager operational eminence for altered motives. The chief drive of this essay is to analytically gauge the proof for the use of yoga throughout pregnancy and labor and to make endorsements for the course of forthcoming research.

Data Analysis

Three of the aforementioned studies acknowledged the existence or deficiency of antagonistic effects of the yoga interference; of these, two described that there were no contrary effects detected. Facts on proportions of uterine contractions or further conceivable opposing effects of yoga during pregnancy, joined with specifics on the kind of interference adopted, would be revealing for researchers scheming forthcoming interventions. Premature adversative events during pregnancy have been revealed to have fetal neurobehavioral evolving significances, so protection of the mother and infant through exercise-related deeds is imperious.

In spite of the universal endorsements for physical workouts during pregnancy, there are still conceivable adverse consequences, for example, uterine contractions, a decrease of oxygen, and premature labor (Beddoe, 2007). Strategies have been recommended to certify satisfactory management for the care of the mother and fetus in a workout and correlated actions. A number of methods of exercise have altered significances on maternal and fetal physiology, particularly across trimesters. For instance, throughout the third trimester, both the mother and fetus are extra susceptible to physical strain.

Empirical evidence is desirable to produce rules delineating postures that are healthy for pregnant women across trimesters. Notwithstanding the form of yoga or specific postures employed, adjustments should be made according to the precise requirements of the woman, in the deterrence of overworking, the strain on the fetus, and early labor. Yoga is a low bearing, simply adaptable and heedful action since it is a safe and workable action for expecting women.


The result yielded from the research revealed that yoga is well designated for pregnant women at a point in their lives when their hormonal and emotional functioning experiences prompt transformation. The revised trials all adopt a cohesive prenatal yoga program that covered 10–25 weeks and all training established perfections on the least possible of 1 result variable. Every one study employed at least two constituents of a yoga exercise, bearings, and meditation, and the most popular studies engaged a moderate and cohesive approach to yoga that similarly encompassed breathing exercises, orations, incantation, and deep relaxation.


Bowlby’s evolutionary concept of attachment proposes that children are born into the world biologically pre-planned to create attachments with others since this will aid them to live. He was greatly inclined by ethological philosophy in a broad-spectrum, but particularly by Lorenz’s study of imprinting.  Lorenz exhibited that attachment was inborn and consequently has endurance significance. Bowlby assumed that attachment manners are innate and will be triggered by several circumstances that appear to intimidate the realization of immediacy, for instance, departure, uncertainty, and distress. Additionally, Bowlby hypothesized that the distress of aliens signifies a vital survival mechanism, created by nature.  Infants come into the world with the inclination to show definite innate manners which aids to confirm proximity and connection with the mother figure, for example crying.

John Bowlby points out that for the infant to grow mentally healthy, the infant must experience an intimate, warm, and continuous relationship with his or her mother or the permanent mother substitute and in which both of them find satisfaction and enjoyment. The theory, however, did not put more weight on the part of permanent mother substitute and the mutual benefits of the mother and the infant. Economic and social network factors that also determine the infant-mother relationship was also overlooked by the attachment theory which forms one of its weaknesses. John Bowlby call was on the society to provide support to the parents who have not yet healed both physically and mentally because of pregnancy.

John Bowlby is a psychologist as well as a researcher. He suggested that the first attachment which the baby typically forms is with its own mother. Therefore, it is fundamental for the child’s mother to form the best environment where the child can feel comfortable and safe. A safe and comfortable environment will ensure that the child is able to grow healthy both physically and mentally.

It is, therefore, the role of the mother to ensure that the environment for her infant is safe and secure from factor affecting its wellbeing. According to this attachment theory, the mother has the power to create a better environment that is conducive for infant growth. The mother also has the power to destroy the infant environment which might affect the infant’s development and growth process.

Bowlby asserted that the connection between the infant and its mother through the first five years of life was critical to the child’s ability to socialization.  He held that interruption of this fundamental connection could top to an advanced prevalence of juvenile criminal behavior, emotional complications, and rebellious behavior.  To support his hypothesis, Bowlby studied 44 teenage juvenile delinquents in a child supervision clinic. The study revealed that affectionless psychopaths displayed miniature concern for others and were inept to form any kind of connection. Bowlby came to the conclusion that anti-social tendencies and emotional concerns are attributed to maternal deprivation.

The way the pregnant mother lives affects the infant-mother relationship greatly. If the mother lives a careless life such as smoking and consuming excess alcohol, the environment or the infant development will be destroyed a lot. The attachment of the mother to the infant which is very crucial will be destroyed. In most cases, the infant who develops in a poor environment is born with different side effects.

These side effects may hinder the child’s growth and development, prolonged sicknesses, physical weaknesses, social problems, and even death depending on the magnitude of the impacts of the unborn child’s condition. It is therefore very crucial and important for a pregnant mother to create and maintain the best possible environment for the infant growth and development as well as ensuring the infant-mother relationship is at its best condition (Campbell, 2012). The pregnant mother must avoid any activity or habit that may destroy this environment and relationship such as smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol.

The prenatal yoga health practice came to support the attachment theory. The objective of the prenatal yoga health practice is to create a better mother to infant relationship which is vital for infant growth and development. The practice holds that the infant growing environment cannot be conducive if the mother who is the first attachment to the infant is not healthy.

The mother’s health is fundamental to infant growth and development because there is a direct relationship between mother and infant health. The health condition of the mother affects the environment in which her infant is growing. If the mother is sick, the infant may also get the infections because there is a direct exchange of food and other important nutrients between the mother and the infant.

Prenatal yoga ensures than the infant-mother is not only physical health but also mental health. The majority of the available prenatal health care services such as clinics only ensure that pregnant mothers are immunized and vaccinated on certain diseases such as malaria which can spread to the infant but fail to remember to address the mental health aspects.

Majority of the pregnant mothers’ worldwide undergo difficulty time during the pregnancy period. Some especially single mothers and school girls undergo a lot of mental disorders due to the depression and stress created by the pregnancy concerning the future of the infant. Therefore, a proper method that is capable of addressing both physical and psychological health of the pregnant women must be promoted and that is the prenatal yoga method.


Conclusively, this paper suggests that a prenatal yoga program marks benefits throughout pregnancy other than throughout labor and on birth results. This promising body of work advocates that enhancements were witnessed on psychological realms during pregnancy and labor, on bodily and discomfort measures during, and on birth variables. The sole antagonistic health consequence that was testified was uterine contractions, which can be examined with an altered method and proper movement reduction.

From the research carried out in this thesis the health conditions f the pregnant mothers is very crucial. How the child develops and grows while in the mother’s womb is very crucial in determining the future of the child. The relationship between the mother and the infant during the pregnancy period is very crucial for the wellbeing of both the mother and the infant. This relationship must be maintained by the mother by ensuring the environment for her infant growth is conducive. Various theories have been developed to help in understanding the importance of mother-infant relationships. One such theory is John Bowlby’s Attachment theory. The mother’s environment for her infant growth may be affected by her health both physically and psychologically.

In an attempt to address the health of expectant mothers, various health methods have been in use. One of the best methods that are largely used to treat both the physical and psychological problems experienced by pregnant mothers is prenatal yoga. This method involves physical exercises that ensure that the expectant mother is health physically. The method also uses nondrug methods to treat mental disorders such as bad moods. This method is widely used because it is cheaper, no drugs are used, and the method can treat both the physical and psychological aspects of health.



Lee, T., & Atwood, M. (2013). Pregnancy health yoga: Your essential guide for the bump, birth and beyond. London: Duncan Baird Publishers.

Beddoe, A. E., University of California, San Francisco., & the University of California, San   Francisco. (2007). Mindfulness-based yoga during pregnancy: A pilot study examining relationships between stress, anxiety, sleep, and pain. (Dissertation Abstracts        International, 68-7.)

Campbell, M. (2012). The yoga of pregnancy: A 40-week journey of narrations, intentions,          meditations,             affirmations, and yoga to help you connect with your unborn baby. Forres, Scotland: Findhorn Press.

Nair, C. (2009). Prenatal kriya yoga: The mystical wisdom surrounding a soul’s rite of passage and. S.l.: Authorhouse.

Melzer, K., Schutz, Y., Boulvain, M., & Kayser, B. (January 01, 2010). Physical Activity and      Pregnancy: Cardiovascular Adaptations, Recommendations, and Pregnancy Outcomes.             Sports Medicine, 40, 6, 493-507.

Curtis, K., Osadchuk, A., & Katz, J. (January 01, 2011). An eight-week yoga intervention is associated with improvements in pain, psychological functioning and mindfulness, and changes in cortisol levels in women with fibromyalgia. Journal of Pain Research, 4, 189-           201.


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