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University of Iowa News Release


July 28, 2011

At A Glance

UI seeks participants for research study on postnatal yoga for women's mental health
Women ages 18 to 50 who have given birth in the past year and are experiencing emotional difficulties are invited to participate in a University of Iowa study. Yoga classes will be held on three weekdays and on Saturdays at a yoga studio in Coralville. Compensation is provided, and the yoga classes are free.

Approximately one in five women experiences depression following childbirth, which is often associated with decreased health-related quality of life and social functioning. Adequate treatment for postpartum depression is critical. Existing first-line treatments often present with barriers, including unfavorable side effects and medication safety issues; thus, alternative therapies might appeal to postpartum women.

The practice of yoga supports emotional, physical and spiritual well-being through the integration of breath, physical postures, meditation and may serve as a viable treatment option. The proposed study will examine the effects of an eight-week yoga intervention on psychological functioning and health-related quality of life in depressed postpartum women.

Melissa Buttner, a doctoral student in clinical psychology, is conducting the study for her dissertation. She is working with Michael O'Hara, professor of psychology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
To learn more about the study, call 319-335-0307 or e-mail


UI LEAP offers a course on the impact of food choices

The University of Iowa Lifetime Enrichment Adult Program is offering a two-part session entitled "Organic, Sustainable, Natural, Fair Trade, Free-range, and Grass-fed‚ what do they mean and how do they affect my health?" The classes will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 3 and 10 in room 2166 of the Medical Education and Research Facility on the UI health sciences campus.

The course will focus on optimizing food choices to improve personal health and performance as well as the environmental and social impact of food choices. Classes will also involve sampling various food products. The class will be lead by Kathy Mellen, a lecturer in the UI Department of Health and Human Physiology and registered dietitian.

The course fee is $25 for members and $35 for nonmembers.

To learn more or register, visit or contact Laura Scheetz at 319-384-4221 or


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