As the health and fitness industry has evolved over the years many women have discovered the numerous benefits to staying healthier during a pregnancy to help recover more easily after giving birth. Because of this there has been a strong push for things such as prenatal yoga in the last decade.
Yoga has well publicized uses to help with stress release and also increase flexibility. Both are very useful as a woman moves closer towards her due date. But let’s look at what else is beneficial about it.
Pregnancy Yoga Benefits:
- It is very low impact and considered a safe way to exercise even into late pregnancy because of the gentle nature and slow movements. However certain poses should not be performed.
- Yoga can help increase awareness in your own body by increasing the mind and muscle connection within the central nervous system. This increased awareness of ‘being in-tune’ becomes more helpful as the baby grows and things change inside your body.
- It helps with tension and muscle cramping. Many women end up becoming very uncomfortable during pregnancy due to tightness and other discomforts. Regular yoga sessions can help keep everything looser. It can also help with lower back pain which is very common.
- Yoga increases strength and muscle tone. Also continued yoga will help increase strength as weight is gained from pregnancy. This in turn will make it easier to handle the rigors of the later stages of childbearing as well as childbirth.
- The breathing exercises are an excellent practice before birthing class. They teach ways to relax and relieve stress. A by-product of stress release is that your central systems such as circulation and digestive systems work more smoothly.
- It can help improve your sleep which is vital in the later stages.
- Yoga can also help decrease the chances of preterm labor.
- Don’t start taking yoga after pregnancy starts without a trained instructor who specifically understands the limitations of a pregnant woman. Ideally you would have started taking yoga prior to pregnancy, but some things are out of your control.
- Learn which poses to avoid that compress the abdomen and put your body in awkward or unsafe positions for the baby.
- Try and find a studio that teaches pregnancy specific classes. These will be slower and gentler and should also incorporate specific poses that will provide the most benefit.
- Do involve your partner. Yoga is a great way help with bonding before and after pregnancy. Fathers to be can always use stress relief as well as additional flexibility and tone.
- Do make time to be consistent. Being as healthy as possible during pregnancy will pay great dividends during labor, during recovery, and in the first few crazy months of parenting. Any advantage you can give yourself before the baby arrives is a great idea (speaking from experience).