Last updated on March 21st, 2021
Prenatal Yoga is very beneficial. It helps moms pull through the nine months of pregnancy. It also equips them for labor and childbirth. Yoga, the exercise discipline native to India, has been practiced for centuries because of its varied benefits to the mind and body. Yoga is the Sanskrit term for the union. It attains health and well-being by bringing about the union of the physical, mental, and spiritual being of an individual.
Yoga during pregnancy is also recommended. Prenatal Yoga is a set of yoga postures geared towards pregnant women. The postures are specially designed not only to be effective but also to meet the safety standards associated with this fragile phase.
Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
Prenatal Yoga prepares a woman physically and mentally for impending motherhood. It helps her bond with her unborn and teaches her to manage pregnancy stress and anxiety more effectively. This article delves into the benefits of prenatal Yoga. We would be happy if you skimmed through.
Strength and Flexibility
Yoga postures build strength and flexibility. It also helps build endurance. Very similar to Kegel exercises, Yoga strengthens the pelvic muscles along with those of the back and abdomen. It teaches muscle control, a technique that comes in very handy during labor. It also helps you develop balance and stability.
Prenatal Yoga also focuses on breathing techniques. Controlled breathing techniques help pregnant women deal with contractions during labor. It also helps manage shortness of breath brought about by the rapidly developing fetus. The breathing techniques teach one the ability to focus, concentrate, and meditate.
Yoga also provides for physical and mental relaxation. It teaches one to manage stress and anxiety associated with pregnancy. It also calms birth fears by preparing one for labor and childbirth.
Backache is the most common pregnancy symptom occurring during the latter half of the second trimester. The growing baby and the fast-expanding uterus shift the center of gravity resulting in excruciating back pain. Yoga places you at ease by shedding light on the importance of good body alignment and helps you correct your posture. Stretching provides pain relief.
Relief from Pregnancy symptoms
Yoga alleviates discomforting pregnancy symptoms. It improves blood circulation in the body. It aids digestion. As already mentioned above, it relieves lower back pain and leg cramps. It reduces body swelling and nausea. It also improves sleep. If you’re worried about gaining weight during pregnancy, we advise you to resort to Yoga. It will ensure you put on weight steadily. It also addresses the problems of mood swings and irritability.
Promoting Baby Health
In addition to helping you stay fit and relaxed, Yoga has a positive impact on your baby’s growth too. It decreases the risk of intrauterine growth restriction – according to Wikipedia (Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) refers to poor growth of a fetus while in the mother’s womb during pregnancy. The causes can be many, but most often involve poor maternal nutrition or lack of adequate oxygen supply to the fetus.) – and pre-term labor.
The benefits of Yoga extend beyond childbirth. Continuation of Yoga postpartum allows you to bounce back faster. Yoga after childbirth improves core strength. It firms the muscles of the back and the abdomen that was stretched and weakened during pregnancy. It is also an effective tool to handle postpartum depression and fatigue.
Thus, all in all, Yoga helps you attain a balance between the mind and body. It ensures you stay fit throughout the nine months of childbearing.
If you’re considering a prenatal yoga class, go ahead. You’re making a wise and worthwhile decision. But before that, you should understand what a typical day at a yoga class is like. Not only this, there are a few safety tips you must adhere to. There will be a yoga instructor to guide you along the way. Nevertheless, it is good to be informed.
The Dos About Yoga during Pregnancy
- The first safety guideline is to inform your health care provider about your decision to enroll in prenatal yoga classes. The doctor may rule out Yoga or any other form of exercise if you suffer from medical conditions such as heart diseases, back problems, or a higher risk of miscarriage and pre-term labor.
- Take yoga classes at a fitness center or yoga studio. You may use yoga books and DVDs to learn yoga postures and exercise otherwise. But this is not what we advise during pregnancy. An instructor should guide you on the poses and stretches safe for your specific condition in the initial stages. A yoga class has additional benefits. At a prenatal yoga class, you get to meet a lot of pregnant women. You can make new friends, share your pregnancy experiences, discuss concerns, and support each other.
- Be careful when choosing a prenatal class. The instructor should be trained and experienced in prenatal Yoga. Observe the class, the environment, and the activities involved beforehand.
- The place where you exercise should be properly ventilated. The overheating of the room is not good.
- Drink plenty of fluids. It will prevent dehydration.
- Yoga cannot be mastered overnight. It takes time. So, go slow.
- Your body is very loyal. It sends across signals to keep you informed at all times. If, when practicing Yoga, you feel any discomfort or pain, stop; you may need a few alterations. If you experience red flags of pregnancy, contact your health care provider immediately.
- You can use several props such as cushions, belts, and blankets for additional support and comfort during the later stages of pregnancy.
- Pregnancy changes the center of gravity. Therefore, during the second and third trimester, use props for support or place your heels against a wall to prevent loss of balance when doing standing poses.
- Take a break when you feel tired and worn out.
The Don’ts About Yoga during Pregnancy
- Do not attend a regular yoga class. Special prenatal classes are held for pregnant women. If you have been practicing Yoga even before you got pregnant, you should tell your instructor about your pregnancy. He will customize the Yoga to meet the requirements of your stage of pregnancy.
- Bikram Yoga or hot Yoga is an absolute no during pregnancy. It involves performing yoga poses in a room heated to a high temperature of 100-110 F degrees. This form of Yoga raises body temperature, which is not desirable during pregnancy. It could result in a condition called hyperthermia.
- Specific yoga postures are not recommended for pregnant women. The first is asanas that involve lying on the back of the stomach. It blocks blood flow to the uterus and may cause nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath. The second is twisting postures that put immense pressure on the abdominal muscles. It would be best if you also avoided forward and backwards bends.
- Avoid very strenuous postures. The body releases relaxin, a hormone to relax the joints and muscles, to accommodate the growing baby. This increases the risk of injuries such as a strain, a pull, or a tear.
- Avoid inverted postures.