Prenatal yoga research:
”Regular yoga practice in the last 10–12 weeks of pregnancy improves maternal comfort in labor and may facilitate labor progress. The researchers offer several theories for these effects. First, prenatal yoga involves synchronization of breathing awareness and muscle relaxation, which decrease tension and the perception of pain. Second, yoga movements, breathing, and chanting may increase circulating endorphins and serotonin, “raising the threshold of mind-body relationship to pain” (p. 112). Third, practicing prenatal yoga postures over time alters pain pathways through the parasympathetic nervous system, decreasing one’s need to actively respond to unpleasant physical sensations.Prenatal yoga strategies that help women prepare emotionally and physically for labor may help reduce pain and suffering and optimize wellbeing in childbirth by providing coping skills and increasing self-confidence and a sense of mastery. More research is needed to confirm the findings of this study. However, yoga’s many health benefits and the lack of evidence that yoga is harmful in pregnancy or birth provide justification for encouraging interested women to incorporate prenatal yoga into their preparations for childbirth.” — Amy Romano MSN
“Prenatal Yoga was associated with reduced pain (mean difference (MD) -6.12, 95% CI -11.77 to -0.47), one trial, 66 women), increased satisfaction with pain relief (MD 7.88, 95% CI 1.51 to 14.25, one trial, 66 women), satisfaction with the childbirth experience (MD) 6.34, 95% CI 0.26 to 12.42, one trial, 66 women), and reduced length of labour when compared to usual care (MD -139.91, 95% CI -252.50 to -27.32, one trial, 66 women) and when compared with supine position (MD -191.34, 95% CI -243.72 to -138.96, one trial, 83 women)…. Relaxation and prenatal yoga may have a role with reducing pain, increasing satisfaction with pain relief and reducing the rate of assisted vaginal delivery.” — by Smith CA, Levett KM, Collins CT, Crowther CA. – Science and Sensibility.