Yoga during pregnancy reduces risk of Caesarean

Here it is, documented proof!  Doing Pregnancy Yoga Classes throughout your pregnancy reduces the risk of Casarean Surgery and other medical interventions.

According to an article in, a group of Spanish scientists from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid pregnancy-yoga-wicklow-wexfordcarried out a study on the effects of yoga type exercise on the Caesarean rates and found that  ‘those who did regular and supervised exercise during their pregnancy had a lower rate of Caesarean births and deliveries requiring instruments, such as forceps, compared to those who were inactive during their pregnancy’.

The Caesarean section rate in Ireland has been increasing dramatically for a number of years. In 2005, some 19% of all births were via Caesarean. By 2011, this had increased to 27%.  An increase in Caesarean rates has shown to cause a corresponding increase in post natal depression, OCD anxiety and breastfeeding problems. In some countries an increase in Caesarean has even shown a corresponding increase in maternal and infant mortality rates.

AIMS Ireland, a lobby group for improvements in the maternity services in Ireland has seen an increase in the numbers of women contacting them with post-birth related problems which the mothers felt were a result of an over-medicalised birth with too many unnecessary interventions.

While there is certainly a lot that needs to change with regard to our maternity services in Ireland, Carmel O’Dwyer, founder of YogaMums feels that women need to stop blaming the doctors and the health care system after the fact and instead be more pro-active during their pregnancy in taking care of themselves and preparing themselves for birth.  They need to take appropriate exercise, eat well and inform themselves of their birth choices and what they can do avoid unnecessary medical procedures.

YogaMums runs weekly pre and post natal yoga classes in Wicklow and Wexford for women past their 14th week of pregnancy.  As well as doing yoga  in a friendly and relaxed environment,  the women are provided with expert guidance and up to date information on how to best care for themselves during pregnancy and birth.

The women report that they sleep better, have more energy and generally feel better all around when they are attending their weekly yoga class.  Pregnancy problems are minimised or avoided and each week is another training session for what is often referred to as ‘the marathon of birth’.  Carmel believes that this training is very important for western women who most likely live sedentary lifestyles.  Having undergone this training they are less likely to need medical assistance during the birth.

Carmel was not at all surprised by the outcome of this Spanish study.  “I have known this all along as have seen the difference in the mums who come to my classes and the outcomes of their births compared to other mums who do not do yoga”.   Midwives too notice the difference.  One new mother reported back recently that the midwife knew she had done yoga by the way she was behaving during the birth; “she asked me had I done yoga classes and I said yes, then she said she knew by how I was breathing and because I was really engaged with it and was well able for it”.

Like any event we would train for it’s important to choose the right trainer.  Not all yoga teachers are qualified to teach yoga to pregnant women and some are only minimally qualified. Pregnancy yoga is a very specialised area requiring a long post graduate training which is why pregnancy yoga classes are more expensive than ordinary yoga classes.   Some yoga practices are contraindicated for beginners and mums with special pregnancy related conditions need an adapted practice,  therefore it is really important to choose a teacher who is adequately qualified and specialises in pregnancy yoga.

To find out more about YogaMums Pregnancy Yoga Classes visit our website or contact Carmel on 0861257843.