Pregnancy brings a lot of changes to your life — from hormonal mood swings to the food cravingsto the realization that you’re going to be a mom. For many women, pregnancy can be an emotional roller coaster, especially for those who have struggled with anxiety or depression in the past. In fact, research shows that women with a history of depression have a higher likelihood of depression in the months both before and after pregnancy.
A new study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy — which brings together mindfulness techniques like yoga, meditation and deep breathing with traditional behavioral therapy — can help reduce a mom’s odds of experiencing depression and its impact, both during pregnancy and postpartum. While 30 % of women with a history of depression are at risk for a recurrence during pregnancy or postpartum on average, the study found that that number dropped to 18 % among those who used mindfulness techniques like Yoga. What’s more, close to 90 percent of the women who signed up for the mindfulness classes completed them, showing the techniques are accessible and easy enough to follow.
Yoga reduces depression & improves mindfullness.
Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with depression in the past, there’s a good chance you may find Yoga’s mindfulness techniques helpful to cope with anxiety and feel like you have more control over the unknowns of the road ahead.
Practicing Yoga may help improve your energy levels, pain tolerance and self-esteem.
Yoga, a combination of meditation and physical movement provide two elements for relieving depression. Meditation helps bring a person into the present and allows them to clear their thoughts. Controlled, focused physical movements help strengthen the body-mind connection.
Before enrolling for a Yoga class, just be sure to confirm with your health care practitioner that it’s OK for you. Once you start, tell the instructor you’re pregnant and ask if she can give you any extra tips related to mindfullness.