Immediate stress reduction effects of yoga during pregnancy: One group pre–post test

  • Momoko Kusaka
    Affiliations
    Department of Midwifery and Women's Health, Division of Health Sciences and Nursing, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
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  • Masayo Matsuzaki
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Tel.: +81 3 5841 3396; fax: +81 3 5841 3396.
    Affiliations
    Department of Midwifery and Women's Health, Division of Health Sciences and Nursing, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
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  • Mie Shiraishi
    Affiliations
    Department of Midwifery and Women's Health, Division of Health Sciences and Nursing, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
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  • Megumi Haruna
    Affiliations
    Department of Midwifery and Women's Health, Division of Health Sciences and Nursing, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
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      Abstract

      Background

      Excessive stress during pregnancy may cause mental disorders in pregnant women and inhibit fetal growth. Yoga may alleviate stress during pregnancy.

      Aim

      To verify the immediate effects of yoga on stress response during pregnancy.

      Methods

      One group pre–post test was conducted at a hospital in Japan. We recruited 60 healthy primiparas without complications and asked them to attend yoga classes twice a month and to practice yoga at their homes using DVD 3 times a week from 20 gestational weeks until childbirth. Salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase concentration were measured before and after yoga classes at time 1 (27–32 gestational weeks) and time 2 (34–37 gestational weeks). Subjective mood was assessed using the profile of mood states. Saliva values and mood scores before and after each yoga class were compared using paired t-test and Wilcoxon rank-sum test, respectively.

      Findings

      We analyzed 44 and 35 women at time 1 and time 2, respectively. The mean salivary cortisol concentration declined significantly after each yoga class [time 1: 0.36–0.26 μg/dL (p < 0.001), time 2: 0.32–0.26 μg/dL (p = 0.001)]. The mean salivary alpha-amylase concentration also decreased significantly following each class [time 1: 72.2–50.8 kU/L (p = 0.001), time 2: 70.6–52.7 kU/L (p = 0.006)]. The scores for negative dimensions of mood (Trait-Anxiety, Depression, Anger-Hostility, Fatigue, and Confusion) decreased significantly. The scores of Vigor for a positive dimension of mood significantly increased.

      Conclusion

      This study indicated the immediate stress reduction effects of yoga during pregnancy.

      Keywords

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