Innovations in the Treatment of Perinatal Depression: the Role of Yoga and Physical Activity Interventions During Pregnancy and Postpartum
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Purpose of Review
We review evidence for physical activity and yoga as interventions for depressed pregnant and postpartum women.
Results from existing trials have generally indicated that physical activity and yoga interventions are acceptable to women during the perinatal period, and that these interventions can be effective in reducing depression. However, some studies have not found significant differences between intervention and control conditions. In addition, symptom improvements were not always maintained.
The available research on physical activity and yoga as interventions for perinatal depression is encouraging with regard to feasibility, acceptability, patient safety, and preliminary efficacy. These interventions have the ability to reach a large number of women who may not engage in traditional treatment. Additional high quality, rigorous, randomized controlled trials are needed. Future research is also needed to examine the optimal dose of these interventions and how to best increase sustained engagement.
KeywordsPerinatal depression Postpartum depression Physical activity Exercise Yoga
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
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