We are built to move. In addition to a recent study suggesting that vigorous athleticism (professional rugby playing) can alter the microbiome, a new Spanish study has extended the potential benefits of exercise to the pregnant patient. In this study, 184 healthy pregnant women were randomized to 3 one-hour sessions of exercise per week throughout pregnancy. Significant differences in mood were found between the exercising and non-exercising group as measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D): 7.67 in the exercise group vs. 11.34 in the control group (p = .005) with a lower percentage of depressed patients in the exercise group (12.2 vs 24.7%).
In the context of data supporting the anti-inflammatory, sleep promoting, and mood supportive benefits of yoga, initiating a practice may be in the best interest of mom and baby!