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MINDBODY

MINDBODY INTERVENTIONS DURING PREGNANCY FOR PREVENTING OR TREATING WOMEN’S ANXIETY

Mind-body interventions like yoga or hypnotherapy may be effective for reducing anxiety. These can be learned to induce mental relaxation and alter negative thinking related to anxiety to change the perception of a stressful event, leading to better adapted behaviour and coping skills. Their effectiveness for treatment or prevention of women’s anxiety during pregnancy needs to be confirmed in clinical trials, as anxiety during the different stages of pregnancy can affect women’s health and have consequences for the child. This review identified few studies that examined this. We included eight randomized controlled studies with 556 women in this review. Based on these studies, there is some not strong evidence for the effectiveness of mind-body interventions in the management of anxiety during pregnancy, labor, or in the first four weeks after giving birth. Compared with usual care, imagery may have a positive effect on anxiety during labor. Another study showed that imagery had a positive effect on anxiety and depression in the immediate postpartum period. Autogenic training might be effective for decreasing women’s anxiety before delivering. No harmful effects were reported for any mind-body interventions in the studies included in the review. The studies used different mind-body interventions, sometimes as part of a complex intervention, that they compared with usual care or other potentially active interventions using diverse outcome measures. Several studies were at high risk of bias, had small sample sizes and high dropout rates. —Cochrane 2011

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