During your pregnancy your body goes through many changes, which creates stress on you mentally and physically. A way to maintain a healthy mind and body is prenatal yoga. Prenatal yoga focuses on poses for pregnant women in order to increase strength and flexibility. It also help pregnant women to develop proper breathing and relaxation techniques for easier and more comfortable labor.
What are the Benefits of Prenatal Yoga?
Exercise is good for your cardio and overall wellness. Prenatal yoga is a form exercise that also speaks to your pregnancy wellness.
There are many benefits to prenatal yoga including:
- Improved sleep
- Reduced stress
- Increased strength, flexibility and endurance
- Decreased lower back pain
- Decreased nausea
- Decreased carpal tunnel syndrome
- Decreased headaches
- Reduced risk of preterm labor
- Lowered risk of intrauterine growth restriction (condition that slows the baby’s growth)
In addition to the benefits listed, studies have found that there is a relationship between prenatal yoga and the reduction of hypertension-related complications as well as improvement of fetal outcome.
Prenatal Yoga and Pregnancy Support
While you are pregnant, it is important to build a strong support system. Oftentimes, this support system will include family and friends. However it can be beneficial to expand your support system to other pregnant mothers. While participating in a prenatal yoga class, you are given the opportunity to meet other expecting mother who you can share your concerns with. More importantly, meeting other expecting mothers gives you the chance to talk with someone going through pregnancy.
Joining a Prenatal Yoga Class
There are many important factors to take into account when choosing to learn prenatal yoga. The safest way would be to take a yoga class designed for pregnant women (prenatal yoga). It is also important that you look for classes taught by a certified prenatal yoga instructor, as they are familiar with the specific poses to avoid and which poses to focus on.
What You Need to Know
Remember to moderate your yoga routine to about 30 minutes and to never push yourself. Yoga is a means to relax, so there is no reason to push yourself, which isn’t safe or healthy for an expecting mother.
While there are many benefits to yoga, it is important to remember not all yoga is safe for pregnant women. Yoga such Bikram and other practices of yoga that require a hot environment are not safe for the expecting mother. Doing those hot forms of yoga can cause hyperthermia. Any poses in which you lie flat on your back or require a lot abdominal stretching are also not recommended for pregnant women. Additionally, women who are at risk of premature labor are not recommended to practice prenatal yoga. It is important to consult your doctor before starting prenatal yoga.
MayoClinic Staff (2013, January 22). Prenatal yoga :What you need to know: Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/prenatal-yoga/
National Association of Complementary & Alternative Medicine (2014). Prenatal Yoga: Retrieved from http://www.nacams.org/yoga/disciplines/prenatal-yoga/
Williams M (2014.). Yoga is Beneficial During Pregnancy: Retrieved from http://www.bastyrcenter.org/content/view/836/