Prenatal yoga linked to improved birth outcomes

A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine revealed that prenatal yoga can minimize labor pain and potentially improve birth outcomes.

  • For the study, researchers from India recruited 200 women pregnant for the first time.
  • The participants were 20 to 35 years old, 30 weeks pregnant, and had no experience of yoga.
  • The researchers, then, divided the participants into two groups: a yoga group and a control group.
  • The yoga group performed 30 minutes of yoga at their 30th, 32nd, 34th, 36th, 37th, 38th, and 39th weeks of pregnancy, while the control group did not perform yoga.
  • The researchers assessed the delivery for maternal comfort, alleviation of labor pain, and birth outcome.
  • Because of complications, the researchers only conducted the final analysis on 75 participants in each group.
  • The results showed that the induction of labor and analgesics were significantly reduced in the yoga group compared to the control group.
  • In the yoga group, the researchers recorded a higher number of normal vaginal deliveries and less cesarean┬ádeliveries, as well as shorter first stage of labor compared to the control group.
  • In addition, the participants who performed yoga had better pain tolerance and experienced higher maternal comfort.
  • The yoga group also had significantly less number of low birth weight babies compared to the control group.
  • The researchers also concluded that prenatal yoga is safe as there were no adverse effects attributed to it.

In sum, the findings of the study conclude that yoga is a safe and easy-to-learn mind-body therapy and complementary health practice for effective reduction of labor pain and improving birth outcomes.

To read more studies on yoga and its many health benefits, visit

Journal Reference:

Bolanthakodi C, Raghunandan C, Saili A, Mondal S, Saxena P. PRENATAL YOGA: EFFECTS ON ALLEVIATION OF LABOR PAIN AND BIRTH OUTCOMES. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 14 December 2018; 24(12): 1181-1188. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2018.0079

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