Objective: to evaluate a yoga programme provided to primigravidas in the third trimester of pregnancy with the aim of decreasing the discomforts associated with pregnancy and increasing childbirth self-efficacy.
Design: non-randomised controlled experimental study.
Setting: a hospital in northern Taiwan.
Participants: the target population was primigravidas at 26-28 weeks of gestation (no high-risk pregnancies) who had not engaged in regular exercise or yoga for at least one year. The study included 88 individuals; 43 in the control group and 45 in the experimental group who took part in the prenatal yoga programme.
Intervention: the duration of the prenatal yoga programme was 12-14 weeks, with at least three sessions per week. Each workout lasted for 30 minutes.
Measurements and findings: women who took part in the prenatal yoga programme reported significantly fewer pregnancy discomforts than the control group (38.28 vs 43.26, z=-2.58, p=0.01) at 38-40 weeks of gestation. The subjects who participated in the yoga programme exhibited higher outcome and self-efficacy expectancies during the active stage of labour (104.13 vs 83.53, t=3.24, p=0.002; 99.26 vs 77.70, t=3.99, p ≤ 0.001) and the second stage of labour (113.33 vs 88.42, t=3.33, p=0.002; 102.19 vs 79.40, t=3.71, p ≤ 0.001) compared with the control group.
Key conclusions: the provision of booklets and videos on yoga during pregnancy may contribute to a reduction in pregnancy discomforts and improved childbirth self-efficacy.
Implications for practice: this yoga programme provides health-care professionals with an evidence-based intervention.
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