yoga, pregnancy, childbirth, stress, anxiety

It has been confirmed –  taking up yoga during pregnancy can ease stress and reduce a woman’s fear of childbirth. So all those celebrity mums (like Gwyneth Paltrow and Sienna Miller) were right to continue their dogward dogs while carrying a bun in the oven. The research has showed that yoga can be attributed to cutting anxiety levels of mums-to-be by one third.

Yoga has been gaining popularity with pregnant women over several years and has been recommended by doctors and midwives, but now there is real evidence to back up the theory.

Manchester University researchers looked at two groups of women who were 22 weeks pregnant. Half of them did a weekly yoga class for two months and the other half attended antenatal classes. The yoga sessions were adapted for pregnancy. The group attending the yoga class felt the amount of anxiety was decreased by a third. And stress levels after the session were even lower than when relaxing at home, according to the study.

Professor John Aplin, who specialises in reproductive biomedicine, even suggested yoga could help women cope with the pain of childbirth and reduce the number of emergency C-sections.