Effects of a special prenatal dance method on fetal and postnatal neurodevelopment, maternal physical, psychological, cognitive, social wellbeing, and childbirth
Bánkyné Perjés Beatrix
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The dissertation is structured along the elements of the so-called PrenaTánc, a complex prenatal dance method. Our specific aims were to prove that regular moderate-intensity prenatal dance intervention causes no adverse gestational, fetal, birth, or neonatal outcomes, to assess its possible influence on maternal wellbeing, to prove its impact on the brain, to compare its effects with no activity and with physical activity, to examine its impact on the mode of delivery, to examine fetal and postnatal neurodevelopment, to investigate toddler neurodevelopment. A systematic literature review preceded the research in April 2017. Then a controlled, non- randomized, quasi-experimental, interventional study was conducted supplemented with follow-up research, using both quantitative and qualitative methods from August 2017 to March 2021 in Pécs, Hungary. Clinically uncomplicated primiparas and multiparas with singleton pregnancies and their later born children were examined: dancing group (DG, n=16), sedentary control group (CG, n=10), physical activity group (PAG, n=17), infants of the DG (n=16) and the CG (n=10), and toddlers of the DG (n=14). The assessment scales included questionnaires (socio-demographic, lifestyle, anthropometric, physical, psychological, social support, memory), medical measurements (fetal heart rate, umbilical artery impedance indices), gestational, birth, and neonatal measures, the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler, toddler in-depth interviews and videos. Our results confirm the safe implementation of this prenatal dance activity. Overall psychological wellbeing of the DG improved by the 36th week of gestation, the increase in the feeling of social support was found, significant increase was detected in the result of the memory test, while their physical wellbeing decreased. The DG performed significantly better at memory tests compared to the CG. Results regarding the mode of delivery could not precisely be interpreted. The more advanced development of children was found in the DG as infants compared to the CG. The hypothesis that the physical, psychological, and social wellbeing of the DG and the PAG will be nearly identical was partially substantiated, while memory results of the DG were better. DG toddlers’ development was higher compared to the norm.