The effects of yoga in prevention of pregnancy complications in high-risk pregnancies: A randomized controlled trial

SVYASA University, Department of Life Sciences, Bengaluru, India. Electronic address: .
Preventive Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.09). 08/2012; 55(4):333-40. DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.07.020
Source: PubMed


While previous studies have shown the potential effects of yoga in normal pregnancies, this randomized controlled trial investigated the effects of yoga in prevention of pregnancy complications in high-risk pregnancies for the first time.
68 high-risk pregnant women were recruited from two maternity hospitals in Bengaluru, India and were randomized into yoga and control groups. The yoga group (n=30) received standard care plus one-hour yoga sessions, three times a week, from the 12th to the 28th week of gestation. The control group (n=38) received standard care plus conventional antenatal exercises (walking) during the same period.
Significantly fewer pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH), preeclampsia, gestational diabetes (GDM) and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) cases were observed in the yoga group (p=0.018, 0.042, 0.049, 0.05 respectively). Significantly fewer Small for Gestational Age (SGA) babies and newborns with low APGAR scores (p=0.006) were born in the yoga group (p=0.033).
This first randomized study of yoga in high-risk pregnancy has shown that yoga can potentially be an effective therapy in reducing hypertensive related complications of pregnancy and improving fetal outcomes. Additional data is needed to confirm these results and better explain the mechanism of action of yoga in this important area.

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