A preliminary randomised control trial of the effects of Dru yoga on psychological well-being in Northern Irish first time mothers

Midwifery. 2017 Mar:46:29-36. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2017.01.005. Epub 2017 Jan 13.


Background: the transition to motherhood can be stressful, especially for first time mothers. Recent research has shown that yoga can be effective for enhancing psychological well-being.

Objectives: the purpose of this study was to establish if a postpartum Dru yoga intervention improves psychological well-being in first time mothers.

Design: a randomised controlled study was conducted.

Setting and participants: first time mothers were recruited from a Sure Start Community Centre and included in the study if they had a baby aged between 6 weeks to one-year-old. Exclusion criteria were the presence of sciatica, bulging discs, heart disease or whiplash and if they already practiced yoga.

Methods: participants were randomised into a Dru yoga group (n=16) who received a one-hour Dru yoga session each week for 4 weeks and a 20-minute DVD for practice at home. The control group (n=16) who did not receive an intervention. Baseline and follow up measures of perceived stress, mood and coping were assessed in each group.

Results: a repeated measures factorial Analysis of Variance showed that in comparison to the control group, the Dru yoga intervention group had improved psychological well-being as indicated by reductions in stress, negative affect, and dysfunctional coping and increases in problem focused coping at follow up (P<0.05).

Conclusion: the current study shows that Dru yoga is beneficial for the psychological well-being of first time mothers. Further research is needed using large scale replication studies with a longer follow up period and including multiparous women. This study extends the support for yoga with postpartum mothers.

Keywords: Coping; Mood; Postpartum; Stress; Yoga.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Northern Ireland
  • Patient Outcome Assessment
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Yoga / psychology*