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Convince Me in 3

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light the need to monitor mental health of expecting mothers. Studies have demonstrated increased levels of stress and anxiety for new and expectant mothers during this uncertain time. Prenatal yoga has shown to be effective in improving mental health during pregnancy, but no research has evaluated the efficacy of prenatal yoga for mental health during a pandemic. The purpose of this randomized-control trial was to determine the influence of a 10-week prenatal yoga program on mental health in pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Women (n=21) were randomized to the yoga or control group. The yoga group participated in 10 weeks of prenatal yoga, while the control group maintained typical daily routines. Baseline surveys demonstrate high levels of anxiety and depression, with an average depression score of 8.33 ± 4.89 (score of 10 represents possible depression) and an average anxiety score of 39.04 ± 12.54 (score of 39 represents clinical significance). Same day surveys suggest that women feel less depressed (p=0.015) and tense (p=0.004) immediately after a yoga session. Self-esteem (p=0.016) and vigor (p=0.007) also improved after a single class. At posttest, the yoga group had lower anxiety (p=0.007) than the control group. Though not statistically significant, a similar trend was observed with depression; the control group increased (10.13 ± 3.52) and the yoga group decreased (6.00 ± 4.18). The findings of this study may provide clinicians with valuable information regarding exercise options for patients during this pandemic.

Key words: Mental health, COVID-19, pregnancy, prenatal yoga, anxiety, depression

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The Influence of Prenatal Yoga on Mental Health in Pregnancy During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light the need to monitor mental health of expecting mothers. Studies have demonstrated increased levels of stress and anxiety for new and expectant mothers during this uncertain time. Prenatal yoga has shown to be effective in improving mental health during pregnancy, but no research has evaluated the efficacy of prenatal yoga for mental health during a pandemic. The purpose of this randomized-control trial was to determine the influence of a 10-week prenatal yoga program on mental health in pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Women (n=21) were randomized to the yoga or control group. The yoga group participated in 10 weeks of prenatal yoga, while the control group maintained typical daily routines. Baseline surveys demonstrate high levels of anxiety and depression, with an average depression score of 8.33 ± 4.89 (score of 10 represents possible depression) and an average anxiety score of 39.04 ± 12.54 (score of 39 represents clinical significance). Same day surveys suggest that women feel less depressed (p=0.015) and tense (p=0.004) immediately after a yoga session. Self-esteem (p=0.016) and vigor (p=0.007) also improved after a single class. At posttest, the yoga group had lower anxiety (p=0.007) than the control group. Though not statistically significant, a similar trend was observed with depression; the control group increased (10.13 ± 3.52) and the yoga group decreased (6.00 ± 4.18). The findings of this study may provide clinicians with valuable information regarding exercise options for patients during this pandemic.

Key words: Mental health, COVID-19, pregnancy, prenatal yoga, anxiety, depression

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