Staying fit during pregnancy helps your body to prepare for childbirth. Spending nine months lounging on the sofa, eating for two, isn’t going to do much in the way of stamina – and you’ll need stamina for the marathon that is labour. Some women swear by prenatal yoga as the key to a healthy pregnancy, great birth and speedy postnatal recovery. Here are seven reasons why prenatal yoga is the perfect pregnancy exercise:
- It relieves stress – studies have found that yoga relieves stress. Pregnancy can be a stressful time, and it can be hard to switch off at the end of a long day. Taking yoga classes can help you to learn ways to relax. Prenatal yoga classes often include a segment of ‘relaxation time’ which is really quiet time for pregnant women. This will give you some much-needed rest, and allow you to feel completely and utterly relaxed (unless the pregnant woman snoring next to you is ruining your zen).
- You’ll meet other mums – the class will be full of women just like you. Sleepless nights can be tough, so you’ll need a supportive network of mum friends you can moan to at 3am. Start collecting now so you’ll always have someone to message during night feeds! Prenatal yoga instructors understand the importance of such a support network, and will often allow for socialising both before and after class in the hope of encouraging people to build relationships.
- It improves body confidence – learning yoga, and strengthening your body, may help to improve body confidence. As you become more aware of your body’s capabilities, you may feel more able to trust your body. And when better to trust your body, than during pregnancy and labour? You probably already feel pretty amazed by your body – after all, it is growing a baby – but learning to control your movement can be the cherry on top of your body confidence cake.
- It’s all about balance and strength – with your growing bump, you may be feeling clumsy and unbalanced. Yoga can help you to gain control of your changing centre of gravity, and improve posture to reduce aches and pains. Including yoga positions in your daily routine can help to strengthen your core muscles, open up your hips and pelvis, and may help to ease any discomfort caused by the pregnancy.
- It has transferable skills – the breathing techniques used during yoga are perfect for labour. You’ll learn breathing techniques and visualisations that can be used to keep calm and focus during contractions.
Are you taking a prenatal yoga class?
Written by Fiona, proud owner of a toddler, @fiona_peacock
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.