Yoga during pregnancy: The effects on labor pain and delivery outcomes (A randomized controlled trial)

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2017 May;27:1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2016.12.002. Epub 2016 Dec 23.


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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Delivery, Obstetric*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor Pain / therapy*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Yoga*
  • Young Adult