Most pregnant women would agree that they could use a little more sleep, a little less discomfort, a little more flexibility, a little less stress and a little more time for peaceful breathing. Well, maybe a LOT MORE is more like it. When you practice prenatal yoga, you can reap all of these benefits and more.
There are many benefits of prenatal yoga for your physical, mental and emotional state now, when you’re ready to give birth and beyond. Prenatal yoga is one of the best forms of exercise for expectant moms because it incorporates your entire body and mind without over-exerting mom and putting stress on baby.
If you’re considering yoga during your pregnancy, check out these wonderful benefits of prenatal yoga:
Strength & Balance: Your body probably feels a bit off kilter these days as you learn to balance your body with the added weight of your growing baby. Heavy weight lifting is not recommended during pregnancy but you can strengthen your body and improve balance through prenatal yoga. This will help alleviate some common pregnancy pains such as back and hip pain, muscle cramps and carpal tunnel syndrome and also prepare you for carrying around your baby after childbirth.
Stress Relief: Yoga involves deep breathing techniques that help your body enter a parasympathetic state of relaxation. With the whirlwind that’s probably happening in your mind as you prepare for your baby, an organized time to be calm and find inner peace may be a welcome relief. Plus, breathing and stretching helps relieve tension in the neck, chest and shoulders.
Better Digestion: Calming the central nervous system through controlled breathing also eases the digestive system. If you are experiencing pregnancy nausea, vomiting or indigestion, prenatal yoga can help work through some of these issues.
Better Circulation: When you are pregnant your blood volume increases by 15% so it’s important to get that blood circulating throughout your body. Your heart is working harder on circulation and to accommodate the extra weight of your baby. Swelling of the extremities, especially feet, is common during pregnancy but can be reduced when circulation improves.
Pain Management for Childbirth: There’s a reason a substantial part of childbirth is called “labor.” Its hard work and it can be quite painful. Challenging your body to hold poses, perform repetitive movements and learning breathing and mental pain management techniques can help prepare you for childbirth. Additionally, yoga helps open your hips to prepare your body for delivery.
Sleeping on Demand: Relaxing your body during prenatal yoga should help you sleep better. You may already be uncomfortable during the night, especially if you are not usually a side-sleeper or your baby is extra-active when you lie down. You’ll also learn how to calm your own body to hopefully ease into a restful state when you need to. Finding time to sleep when you have a baby is sometimes rare, so using precious quiet time to actually sleep is imperative.
Bonding with Baby: You and your baby have a unique connection. When you slow down and take the time to beyond before your baby is born, you will have a stronger relationship when she enters the world. This short time may be the difference in a easing into a rhythm with your baby, including sleep schedules, breastfeeding and less fussiness.
Community: Chances are you’ll take a prenatal class near your home or work where you can find a community of other new moms like yourself. You will all be giving birth around the same time so you can continue your relationships with your babies in arms as well. If nothing else, prenatal yoga classes are a chance to laugh and commiserate about pregnancy with other expectant moms.
We hope you enjoy the benefits of prenatal yoga during your pregnancy. Be sure to wear your favorite Loving Moments maternity bra while you’re striking a pose!