Yoga for PMH

Yoga
for Perinatal Mental Health
With Clare Daneski

“Clare has a passion for bringing Yoga to individuals with perinatal mental health
difficulties. She has a unique insight and nurturing style of teaching that is based upon
years of experience as a Yoga student and teacher, a career in perinatal mental health
nursing, and her own personal experience of perinatal mental health difficulties. ”

Why Perinatal Yoga ?

The benefits of a regular Yoga practice in the Perinatal period are now widely documented in
clinical trials:

● Significant reduction in symptoms in acute mental health presentations that have been
linked to poor birth outcomes
● A gentle form of physical exercise suitable for any age, physical ability
● Higher rates of engagement than pharmacological or psychotherapeutic intervention
● Can be used alongside any other interventions
● Suitable for any stage of pregnancy
(Bridges and Sharma: 2017. Sheffield and Woods-Giscombe: 2016. Buttner, Brock, O’Hara
and Stuart: 2015.)

Clare’s 6 Week Yoga Course

Clare has created a successful and easy to follow 6 Week Yoga Course for use in pregnancy,
post-partum and beyond.

She understands the challenges of engaging potentially unwell students and has converted
her course to an Online platform (Zoom) to make it even more accessible to those who do not
feel well enough or confident enough to attend large group classes. The Online course is also
easier to fit into a busy home life and working hours.

Clare’s course is made up of a blend of short weekly ‘live’ classes and follow up videos to
practice throughout the week. Avoiding lengthy classes is incredibly important in Clare’s
teaching methods as concentration, energy levels and motivation can be significantly
impaired during an acute phase of poor mental health.

The course includes a video for partners and husbands which outlines the principle and
content of the course, the benefits, and suggestions for getting involved.
Clare has knowledge and expertise that ensures her students will always feel supported, safe,
and nurtured. Through the physical practice, breathing techniques and relaxation exercises,
they can expect:

● Increased self esteem and confidence
● Short and Long term relaxation
● Less worry
● Self management skills
● A more balanced mood pattern
● A decrease in anxiety, panic and agitation
● Relief from racing or unhelpful thoughts
● Improved sleep patterns
● Improved physical fitness, strength, and bone health
● A perfect aid for physical and emotional birth preparation
● A healthier balance in energy levels
(Sovik: 2019. Battle, Uebelaker, Magee, Sutton, Miller: 2016.)

The benefits to the child and the family as a whole in the post-partum period are:

● Improved relationships
● Improved motivation for healthy engagement with the child
● Improved mother and baby bonding
(Ayers and Delicate, 2016)

Risk Assessment
Clare is expertly trained in working with injuries and teaching skillfully and safely.
Any potential student will be asked to complete a confidential medical form including the
name and contact details of the Perinatal Mental Health Service or relevant health
professional. Students who have had a Cesarean Section will be required to wait for 6 weeks
and consult her midwife or Gp before commencing the course first.
Clare abides by a strict confidentiality policy, however should she feel at any time that the
student is presenting as a risk to herself or others, she will contact the relevant service or
health professional. This policy will be shared with the student at the initial engagement.

Considerations for Health Professionals
Yoga is a safe, effective way to manage acute mental health presentations. Clare’s intensive
course is designed to bring immediate relief from symptoms as well as more long term
symptom control. The course is evidence based and in line with current NHS patient advice for
physical fitness and mental well being ( www.nhs.uk ) . The benefits to the pregnant mother,
baby, and family as a whole makes this course a significantly useful intervention.

Signposting
As a Health Professional, I will provide you with a simple leaflet (available as a printable PDF)
to offer your patients upon their initial entrance to your perinatal service or at any point
during their engagement with you. If your patients have any questions regarding the course
they can be encouraged to contact Clare using the details listed in the leaflet.

Should you have any questions or wish to discuss any of the above information, please contact
Clare at clareerin@live.co.uk.

References
Bridges, L., Sharma, M. (2017):“ The Efficacy of Yoga as a Form of Treatment for Depression”.
[Online] Available to view at www.pubmed.ncbi.nih.gov . Accessed 26th September, 2020.
Sheffield, K.M., Woods-Giscombe, C.L. (2016): “ Efficacy, Feasibility, and Acceptability of
Perinatal Yoga on Women’s Mental Health and Well-Being: A Systematic Literature Review.”
[Onine] Available to view at www.pubmed.ncbi.nih.gov . Accessed 26th September, 2020.
Buttner, M.M.,Brock, R.L., O’Hara, M.W., Stuart, S.(2015):“ Efficacy of yoga for depressed
postpartum women: a randomized controlled trial”. [Online] Available to view at
www.pubmed.ncbi.nih.gov . Accessed 26th September, 2020.
Sovik, R. (2019): “ Panic Attacks: How Yoga Can Help.” [Online] Available to view at
www.yogainternational.com . Accessed 27th September, 2020.
Battle, C.L., Uebelaker, L.A., Magee, S.R., Sutton, K.A., Miller, I.W. (2016): “P otential for
prenatal yoga to serve as an intervention to treat depression during pregnancy” [Online]
Available to view at www.ncib.nih.gov Accessed 27th September, 2020).
Ayers, S., Delicate, A., (2016): “ Recognising and acting on perinatal mental health” [Online].
Available to view at www.nct.org Accessed 27th September, 2020.
Author and date unknown: “ Benefits of exercise” [Online] Available to view at www.nhs.uk
Accessed 27th September, 2020.

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