The project is in the field of infertility, pregnancy and yoga therapy. We know the large range of benefits yoga therapy has in improving maternal health during pregnancy- physically and emotionally. It has been proven safe and beneficial even among mothers who come under ‘high-risk’ pregnancies. However, there have been only 4 studies conducted in infertility and yoga. All of them have identified that yoga therapy during infertility treatments have been helpful to reduce distress, stress and anxiety. There has been no study done among women who have conceived post infertility treatments i.e. pregnancy as a result of infertility treatment. This group has tremendously high stress levels and very low self-belief and confidence levels. Stress harm many harmful effects during pregnancy and it’s important that we discover ways to combat it. This project, undertaken within the safety of a hospital setting, aims to explore the possibility of yoga therapy as a sustainable and effective method to combat stress among this population
How will this add to what we know?
We know that infertility causes stress and we also know that yoga is one of the most useful therapies for physical and emotional wellbeing. However, this project will help us go a step further and identify if yoga can be used with a highly stressed and anxious population of mothers who conceived after multiple infertility treatments. As discussed below, the numbers of infertile couples are on a rise and if it can be proven that yoga is helpful in this population, we identify a cost-effective and non-clinical solution for mental and physical wellbeing of pregnant women post infertility treatments.
Why is this work important?
48.5 million Couples across the world suffer from infertility and prevalence of these cases was highest in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa/Middle East, and Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia. NHS reports 3.5 million individuals in the UK , CDC reports 1.5 million women in the USA and WHO statistics report 4.9 million women in India suffer from primary infertility. In India, the accumulated count of women suffering from primary & secondary infertility is 17.9 million. With infertility comes societal repercussions and pressures. Stress faced by infertile women has been compared to be equivalent to stress faced by cancer and cardia patients. Stress starts a vicious cycle in pregnancy leading to complications like gestational diabetes, hypertension, premature birth etc. It is important that we use an external non-clinical method to break the cycle of stress and complications.
Yoga is a well-known therapy for stress. In the past decade, many studies have been conducted on the effect of yoga in improving physical and mental wellbeing during pregnancy and all of them have at least one positive outcome if not many. However, research in the field of yoga and infertility is at its nascent stage. With exponentially rising numbers of infertility patients across the world, this project aims to set a benchmark for further research on using yoga as a therapy to improve mental wellbeing and stress levels of infertility patients. Improving mental and physical wellbeing of mothers is a good start at building a foundation for a healthy family leading to a healthy society.
What do you hope to find out?
Improvement in mental wellbeing of a pregnant mother post 10 weeks of yoga therapy. This will be measured through questionnaires and interviews.
- Occurrence of postnatal depression and its relationship to antenatal depression levels
- Gestational age of the baby at birth and incidence of Small for Gestational Age (SGA) babies
- Mother’s perceived stress levels over the period of 10 weeks of yoga sessions
A PhD student at Warwick Medical School and an awardee of the prestigious University of Warwick Chancellors Scholarship. By profession, a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, CAPPA Certified Lactation Educator, YAI Certified Pregnancy Yoga Instructor & IBBFA Certified General and Pregnancy Barre Instructor. Currently pursuing a diploma in Hypnobirthing. Anjali has co-founded a maternity fitness and wellness organization called ilove9months. Ilove9months is the world’s first dedicated pregnancy fitness app. With basic educational qualifications in the field of business, (Bachelors in Business Administration and a Masters in Innovation and Entrepreneurship), in her start-up, she contributes by combining her healthcare knowledge with a business approach. Passionate about her work and research, she aims to do her bit in creating a wholesome, happy & healthy environment for mothers to enjoy pregnancy both physically and emotionally.
Prof Sarah Stewart Brown
Sarah Stewart-Brown joined Warwick University in April 2003 as Professor of Public Health. Sarah was Director of the Health Science Research Institute from April 2006 until August 31st, 2010. Sarah studied medicine at the University of Oxford and at the Westminster Hospital in London. She worked in the National Health Service from 1974-1994 first as a pediatrician and subsequently as a Public Health doctor in London, Bristol, and Worcester. She also held academic appointments at the Departments of Child Health, and of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Bristol. Before joining the Institute she was a Reader in the Department of Public Health at the University of Oxford where she directed the Health Services Research Unit. Her research interests are measuring and monitoring mental health and wellbeing, determinants of mental well-being, interventions to promote mental health and wellbeing, parenting and parenting programs, complementary and alternative therapies and child public health
Dr Siobhan Quenby
Siobhan Quenby is the Director of the Biomedical Research Unit in Reproductive Health, Professor of Obstetrics at the University of Warwick, and Honorary Consultant at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS trust. Siobhan has twenty years of experience in translational research into recurrent miscarriage and dysfunctional labour. She published over 75 original articles and numerous book chapters on this subject. She serves on several international and national committees; European Society for Human Reproduction and Endocrinology Early Pregnancy Special Interest Group, MHRA Expert Advisory Panel for women’s health, Scientific Advisory Committee of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), RCOG Preterm Labour Clinical Study Group, RCOG Early Pregnancy Clinical Study Group. She is currently an Associate Editor for BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth and has served as an Associate Editor for Human Reproduction. Her work has received considerable media interest, including from national newspapers, BBC radio and TV, ITV and Channel 4 news. She is also a media spokesperson for the RCOG. Her current research interests are translational research into, recurrent miscarriage, implantation, preterm and dysfunctional labour and obesity in pregnancy.
Research Assistant & Yoga Instructor to be hired.