Am J Perinatol 2015; 32(06): 503-514
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1396701
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Effects of Yoga Intervention during Pregnancy: A Review for Current Status

Qinxian Jiang
1   Key Laboratory of Exercise and Health Sciences of the Ministry of Education, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai, China
2   Department of Physical Education, Changzhi University, Changzhi, China
Zhengguo Wu
2   Department of Physical Education, Changzhi University, Changzhi, China
Li Zhou
1   Key Laboratory of Exercise and Health Sciences of the Ministry of Education, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai, China
3   Department of Kinesiology, Xi'an Physical Education University, Xi'an, China
Jenae Dunlop
4   Department Speech and Hearing Sciences, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon
Peijie Chen
1   Key Laboratory of Exercise and Health Sciences of the Ministry of Education, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai, China
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

22 October 2014

22 October 2014

Publication Date:
23 December 2014 (online)


Objectives The purpose of this article is to review all randomized control trials (RCTs) that have looked at the health effects of yoga on pregnancy, and to present their evidence on the specific ways in which pregnant women, and their infants can benefit from yoga intervention. The purpose is also to determine whether yoga intervention during pregnancy is more beneficial than other physical exercises.

Methods Four databases were searched using the terms “yoga and (pregnancy or pregnant or prenatal or postnatal or postpartum).” Databases were searched from January 2004 to February 2014.

Results Ten randomized controlled trials were evaluated. The findings consistently indicate that yoga intervention presented with lower incidences of prenatal disorders (p ≤ 0.05), and small gestational age (p < 0.05), lower levels of pain and stress (p < 0.05), and higher score of relationship (p < 0.05). In addition, yoga can be safely used for pregnant women who are depressed, at high-risk, or experience lumbopelvic pain. Moreover, yoga is a more effective exercise than walking or standard prenatal exercises.

Conclusions The findings suggest that yoga is a safe and more effective intervention during pregnancy. However, further RCTs are needed to provide firmer evidence regarding the utility and validity of yoga intervention.

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