Prenatal yoga is a low-impact and gentle way to stay active during pregnancy. It takes care of your physical well-being and emotional state which is important for a healthy, happy pregnancy. If you are pregnant and looking for ways to stay fit, you should consider the benefits of prenatal yoga. It helps you prepare for labor and promotes a special bond with your baby. It is also one of the best forms of pregnancy exercise that’s safe for both mother and the baby.
What is Prenatal Yoga?
It’s a form of safe exercise technique that engages the mind and body. Prenatal yoga mainly focuses on gentle stretching and breathing exercises. These exercises are specially designed for pregnant women to create a balance between mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Overall, prenatal yoga prepares mom-to-be for a relaxing childbirth.
What are the Benefits of Prenatal Yoga?
Is prenatal yoga safe for you? Do you want to enroll in a yoga session? Read the benefits of prenatal yoga before you start practicing.
1. Effective Exercise for Pregnant Mothers
Prenatal yoga is suitable for mothers of all ages. It is very popular across the world and it is also an easy and safest option for moms-to-be to stay healthy, fit and in shape. If you combine yoga with cardiovascular exercises such as walking, you can keep your muscles toned and improve blood circulation during pregnancy.
2. Improves Strength and Stamina
Prenatal yoga poses strengthen hips, back, arms, and shoulders, and stimulate other organs. It increases and improves your stamina to carry the growing baby. If you feel tired easily, yoga is the best solution for your problem.
3. Teaches You Breathing Techniques
Yoga teaches you breathing techniques that are helpful during labor and childbirth. It teaches you to breathe in the air slowly through your nose, fill your lungs, expand your belly, and exhale through your nose. This deep breathing practice prepares you to face labor tensions calmly. Breathing techniques will come in handy during natural delivery.
4. Prepares You for Labor and Childbirth
Prenatal yoga teaches you relaxing techniques that will help you ease through labor pain. When you are in pain, your body processes less oxytocin (an essential hormone to progress labor) but yoga enables you to handle stressful situations. Studies also prove that prenatal yoga reduces labor duration to an extent.
5. Reduces Pain, Fatigue, and Stress
Pregnancy isn’t easy for everyone. Carrying a baby often leads to backaches, body pain, fatigue, and stress. If you practice yoga poses regularly, it can help relieve pain and body aches. Certain yoga poses help ease back pain, heartburn, and even fatigue. It also improves flexibility, and balance, and eases the discomfort of carrying a baby.
6. Provides Mental Strength and Support
Prenatal yoga helps you cope with the constant demands of your changing body during pregnancy. Practicing yoga every day is a great way to relax.
7. Socialize with Other Pregnant Women
You also get an opportunity to engage with communities of pregnant women where everybody is just like you. It gives you a positive and supportive environment where you get a consistent boost from your fellow moms-to-be. This positivity will automatically keep you motivated to face any pregnancy challenges.
8. Promotes Connection with Your Baby
Taking time off from your regular work and home life creates a way to bond with your growing baby. It reminds you to think about you and your baby amidst your busy work and home life.
9. Lowers Risks for Mom-to-be and Your Baby
Studies prove that yoga lowers the chance of complications during pregnancy. Yoga teaches you to cope with pain and stress and thus it reduces even your childbirth risks.
What are the Most Common Prenatal Techniques?
The breathing technique is the first thing you will learn in prenatal yoga class. You will focus on deep breathing which will help manage shortness of breath, labor contractions, and pain.
Gentle moves in different areas of your body such as the neck, arms, hips, and legs encourage you to relax muscles.
Various standing, sitting, and lying on the ground positions improve the flexibility and balance of core muscles.
You’ll learn to relax muscles and restore your resting heart rate at the end of your prenatal yoga classes. You will pay attention to your breathing, emotions, and thoughts to improve your inner calm.
Prenatal Yoga Safety Precautions for Pregnant Women
1. Always Talk to Healthcare Provider
Before you enroll in a yoga class, make sure you consult your healthcare provider. Doctors do not recommend prenatal yoga for women with certain medical conditions such as heart diseases, complicated pregnancies, and back pain.
2. Take it Slow
If your doctors allow you to practice yoga, you should start slowly. Experts recommend 30-60 minutes of physical activity for most pregnant women. Shorter and more effective workouts will help you stay in shape and prepare for labor.
3. Stay Cool and Hydrated
You need to practice yoga in a well-ventilated room. Avoid overheating and drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated.
4. Avoid Certain Postures
Do not stress or strain yourself while doing yoga. Avoid pressure on your abdomen, do not strain your back too much. You should also avoid postures that change your center of gravity. Some twisting poses are also not recommended. It is always important to ask your yoga instructor for guidance.
5. Avoid Lying on Flat Your Back
Lying on your back during pregnancy can put pressure on your inferior vena cava which reduces the blood flow to the uterus. It may also lead to dizziness and shortness of breath. Always use pillows to raise your upper body or limit the time you’re flat on your back.
6. Strictly Avoid Head or Shoulder Stands
Pregnancy is not the right time to try head and shoulder stands. There’s more risk involved in inversion practice and it is unsafe for most pregnant women.
7. Never Overdo
Pay attention to how you feel before and after your pregnancy exercises. Start slowly and do not push yourself to try something beyond your comfort zone. Stretch as far as you feel comfortable. If you experience pain or discomfort, stop doing it and consult your trainer. If you notice vaginal bleeding, decreased fetal movement, or contractions during prenatal yoga, you need to stop immediately and contact your doctor.
Doctor-approved fitness during pregnancy is good for you. It helps you manage pregnancy symptoms such as constipation, back pain, bloating, fatigue, swelling, and mood swings. Staying active not only builds mental stability but also promotes good sleep, and keeps the baby healthy. Try prenatal yoga which is an ideal exercise even for lazy moms-to-be.