Abstract

This study sought to evaluate attitudes and knowledge about prenatal yoga and to investigate barriers and facilitators to yoga participation in high-risk pregnant women receiving prenatal care in an academic tertiary care center. We surveyed a convenience sample of women receiving prenatal care through the Maternal-Fetal Medicine practice at Brigham and Women's Hospital. We classified participants as yoga-experienced or yoga-naive depending on self-report. We compared differences between the two groups using the appropriate nonparametric tests and compared bivariate odds ratios for survey results using logistic regression. Of the 100 respondents, 53% had practiced yoga previously. Women with yoga experience were older (age 34.9 ± 5.6 vs. 31.0 ± 6.0 years, p = 0.004), more likely to be college graduates (94% vs. 68%, p = 0.002), and more likely to be White (77% vs. 47%, p = 0.002) than women without previous yoga experience. Previous yoga experience was associated with participant agreement that yoga was safe during their current pregnancy (odds ratio 5.9, 95% confidence interval 1.9–17.7). Of the women surveyed, 56% agreed that they would like to attend a prenatal yoga class. In a multivariate model including age, race, and education, previous yoga experience was the only significant predictor associated with willingness to participate in prenatal yoga classes during current pregnancy (odds ratio 3.1, 95% confidence interval 1.1–8.6). Prior yoga experience was the strongest predictor of willingness to attend a prenatal yoga class in our population. Our results suggest that women with high-risk pregnancies who may benefit from prenatal yoga interventions but lack prior yoga experience may need additional education to facilitate participation.

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