Objective: To investigate the effects of an antenatal yoga program on perceived maternal labor pain and delivery outcomes.
Material & methods: This randomized control trial was conducted with sixty primiparous women, aged 18-35 years old, who were randomly assigned to either an antenatal yoga program or control groups. Labor pain and discomfort level of the participants were measured using a Visual Analogue Scale at cervical dilatation of 3-4 c and at 2 and 4 h after the initial measurement. Demographic and obstetrical information were collected. The antenatal yoga program consisted of a 1-h supervised yoga class, three times a weekly, starting at 26 weeks gestation. .
Results: Participants in control group reported higher pain intensity compared to experimental group at 3-4 cm of dilatation (p = 0.01) and at 2 h after the first and the second measurements (p = 0.000). Mothers in the antenatal intervention group that completed the yoga class required a decreased frequency of labor induction in comparison with control group (p = 0.008). In addition, mode of delivery of the intervention group resulted in a lower percentage of cesarean section than control group (p = 0.002). Lastly, the intervention group experienced a shorter duration of the second and third stages of labor. Interval level data was analyzed by using an independent t-test and chi-square.
Conclusion: Yoga during pregnancy may contribute to a reduction pain of labor and improved adequacy of childbirth.
Keywords: Delivery outcomes; Labor pain; Yoga.
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