Research Article|Articles in Press

Women's experiences of participation in a pregnancy and postnatal group incorporating yoga and facilitated group discussion: A qualitative evaluation



      This paper reports on a small qualitative research study which explored women's experiences of participation in a pregnancy and postnatal group that incorporated yoga and facilitated discussion. The group is offered through a community based feminist non-government women's health Centre in Northern NSW Australia.


      The purpose of the research was to explore women's experiences of attending this pregnancy and postnatal group.


      An exploratory qualitative approach was used to explore women's experiences of attending the group. Fifteen women participated in individual, in-depth face-to-face interviews. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis was undertaken to analyse the qualitative data.


      Six themes were developed, one with 3 subthemes. One theme was labelled as: ‘the pregnancy and motherhood journey’ and included 3 sub-themes which were labelled: ‘preparation for birth’, ‘connecting with the baby’ and ‘sharing birth stories.’ The other five themes were: ‘feminine nurturing safe space’, ‘watching and learning the mothering’, ‘building mental health, well-being and connections’, the “group like a rock and a seed’ and ‘different from mainstream’.


      This research adds to the overall body of knowledge about the value of yoga in pre and postnatal care. It demonstrates the value of sharing birth stories and the strong capacity women have to support one another, bringing benefits of emotional and social well-being, information, resources and support derived from group based models of care.


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