Prenatal Depression and a Yoga Intervention

Project: Research project

Description

Prenatal depression has been associated with prematurity. In our path analysis study on prenatally depressed women, prenatal cortisol was the strongest predictor of prematurity. In our pregnancy massage study with prenatally depressed women, massage was associated with reduced prenatal cortisol and prematurity. Inasmuch as yoga, like massage, stimulates pressure receptors, it might be expected to have effects and underlying mechanisms that are similar to those of massage therapy. In the proposed study we would test the effects of yoga, expecting that yoga (potentially via stimulation of pressure receptors) would reduce depression, enhance vagal activity, reduce cortisol and increase gestational age (reduce premature deliveries) in depressed women. The novel aspect of this study would be an assessment of yoga as an inexpensive form of self-massage for prenatally depressed women. Depressed pregnant women and a non-depressed pregnant women control group would be recruited at their first prenatal ultrasound visit (at approximately 20 weeks gestation). The depressed women would be randomly assigned to a yoga or a parenting education/attention control group. Following an estimated 25% attrition, we would expect to have 60 women in each group. The yoga group would attend our yoga classes twice weekly for 12 weeks, and the parenting classes would meet on the same schedule. The women would be screened for depression on the CES-D at their first prenatal ultrasound visit (M=20 weeks) and given a diagnostic (the SCID) at a longer prenatal session within one week. At the early gestation (M=21 weeks) and later gestation (M=33 weeks) visits and again at the neonatal period (within 24 hours of birth) and at one month post-birth the women would be given self-report measures of depression (CES-D, EPDS) and anxiety (STAI) and an assessment of vagal activity and cortisol. Their infants would be assessed on the primary outcome measure of gestational age and the secondary measures of vagal activity, cortisol, and performance on the Brazelton Neonatal Behavior Assessment Scale both at the neonatal period and at the one month post-birth. We would expect that yoga would decrease depression, increase vagal activity, decrease cortisol and increase gestational age (decrease prematurity).
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date8/1/097/31/12

Funding

  • National Institutes of Health: $344,250.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $344,250.00

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Yoga
Depression
Massage
Hydrocortisone
Gestational Age
Pregnancy
Parturition
Pregnant Women
Nonprofessional Education
Pressure
Control Groups
Parenting
Self Report
Appointments and Schedules
Anxiety
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)

ASJC

  • Medicine(all)