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A qualitative study exploring how the aims, language and actions of yoga for pregnancy teachers may impact upon women's self-efficacy for labour and birth
Women and birth : journal of the Australian College of Midwives
Format: Journal Article
Publication Year: 2016
Pages: 3 - 11
Source ID: shanti-sources-32881
Abstract: BACKGROUND: As women's anxiety and the rate of medical intervention in labour and birth continue to increase, it is important to identify how antenatal education can increase women's confidence and their ability to manage the intense sensations of labour. AIM: To report a grounded theory study of how the aims, language and actions of yoga for pregnancy teachers may impact upon women's self-efficacy for labour and birth. METHODS: Yoga for pregnancy classes in three locations were filmed. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with the teachers to explore what they were trying to achieve in their classes, and how. Interviews and classes were transcribed and analysed using grounded theory. FINDINGS: There was considerable consistency in the teachers' aims, the language they used in classes and in their thinking about class structure. Four main themes emerged: creating a sisterhood, modelling labour, building confidence and enhancing learning. Teachers see yoga for pregnancy as a multi-faceted, non-prescriptive intervention that enhances women's physical, emotional and social readiness for labour and birth, and supports women to make their own decisions across the transition to parenthood. CONCLUSION: Women's self-efficacy for labour is complex and multi-factorial. This study offers insights into the factors which may be involved in increasing it. These include not only traditional elements of yoga such as postures, breathing and meditation, but also the creation of safe, women-only groups where anxieties, experiences and stories can be shared, and pain-coping techniques for labour learned and practised.