Guest post by Serena Morris
Pregnancy is an exciting and happy time. The body goes through immense changes both physically and emotionally and between the whirlwind of preparations- nursery set up, doctor’s appointments- baby showers it’s easy to become run-down and overwhelmed. Taking care of your emotional health is as important as your physical well-being and prenatal yoga is the perfect form of exercise to ensure both are working in perfect harmony.
Although most mothers are already prepared physically even before their pregnancies, one might say that their mental and psychological demands are less than taken care of. As a result, more women experience the invisible side-effects of pregnancy.
One of the more natural ways to thwart these effects is through prenatal yoga. Apart from improving your entire experience during pregnancy, yoga is very much known to provide you greater flexibility, a calmer nervous system, and a better immune function. Here are 8 reasons why you should consider adding prenatal yoga into your wellness routine.
1.) Prenatal yoga brings fewer complications to pregnancy
Pregnancy is not hurdle-free. There will always come a time when complications are experienced and endured. Meanwhile, there is that time when we don’t. Thankfully, your chances of getting a healthy pregnancy are high when you engage in worthwhile activities such as yoga.
Specifically, prenatal yoga can provide the following benefits:
1.) Birth weight improvement
2.) Alleviation of preterm labour
3.) The risks of other complications such as pregnancy-induced hypertensions are abated.
2.) Prenatal yoga can help get your baby into the right placement
Practising the “cat or cow” yoga poses can actually aid you in ensuring that your baby is birthed into the right place or otherwise known as the LOA position. It is where the baby is delivered with its head down and spine out and through the mother’s left side — providing the mother with an easier birth in the process.
3.) Prenatal yoga gets your muscle groups toned
Yoga works best during pregnancy as it helps to tones our physical body with a focus on the pelvic floor along with hip and abdominal core muscles. As a result, this should prepare you for the birthing process. Meanwhile, a muscle that is toned effectively equates to a right balance between the length and strength. As a result, it is not that tight and too lax.
Also, when you get to build and maintain your muscle tone during this phase, a minimization of your aches and pains is expected in the entire nine months. Yoga poses such as lunges and backbends should be able to help you achieve this goal.
4.) Prenatal yoga brings more options for labor positioning
When practicing yoga, your hips and legs are two of the most used parts of your regimen. And when these become stronger and more open, they bring you with more options for labor positioning. Also, this is deemed crucial especially if you have a plan to give a natural birth without being medicated.
Poses that specialize in opening your hips should aid you in softening and widening your pelvis while it stretches your hip flexors. The latter effect should help in counteracting the tightness that happens due to hormonal shifts. If you want to perform a more efficient squat for a minute, then you’re on good track if you do this religiously. Squat is considered as one of the most optimal birthing positions. Meanwhile, a proper training is required to achieve “malasana” or squat.
5.) Prenatal yoga supports organs which are responsible for carrying and delivering your baby
Apart from beefing up your strength and physical well-being during your pregnancy, prenatal yoga also supports your organs that are directly accountable for carrying and birthing your baby out from your womb.
The practice that is called as “Mula Bhanda” aids to create a stronger you through a more flexible set of perineal muscles while widening your awareness of your lower pelvic organs along with the support that surrounds them. Other than these, the practice should provide you a greater ease of the delivery process, labor, delivery, perineal tears, urinary incontinence, and vaginal prolapse.
6.) Prenatal yoga brings about breathing techniques and control
During prenatal yoga, you’re essentially a breathing machine and in this case, there is an increased oxygen intake which increases your blood flow to your abdomen. Subsequently, this triggers the parasympathetic nervous system which is a section that calms us and thus benefiting your baby in the process.
Meanwhile, as we breathe all throughout our sessions, it aids in preparing our body and mind for that particular type of breathing that necessitates during birthing contractions. Ultimately, this “breath-body” association is crucial during your labor. This very breathing technique can also be found in some pain-management techniques such the Lamaze or Hypnobirthing.
7.) Prenatal yoga can expand your friends’ zone especially with mothers with similar aspirations
An expanded group or community of pregnant women is expected when you certainly join a prenatal yoga class — and that is something that you need to be thankful for. This community should most likely share the same aspirations or even issues that you have as a mother and as a woman. These like-minded mothers should be able to support you too or bring about other suggestions that could address your dilemmas.
As mothers do these activities, apart from yoga itself, your collective anxieties about the impending motherhood should be minimized if not swept away into oblivion. And as these fears are diminished, your body pain should follow along with a calmed mind. I mean, what else could be more exciting than sharing notes with other moms after your prenatal yoga classes?
8.) Ultimately, prenatal yoga envelops you with calmness, awareness, and mindfulness
There is no doubt that pregnancy and motherhood will cause you both a physical and mental turmoil. And while that sounds disconcerting, that truth really must be handled. Worry not, though, as that truth should be accompanied by hope through prenatal yoga that is sure to bring you that much-needed calmness, the often-neglected awareness, and mindfulness that almost everyone lacks nowadays. All these three benefits culminate to a better well-being with steadiness at a time of constant changes.
While you bring all these in mind and practice prenatal yoga with your heart, body, and soul into it, you’ll soon find that your thoughts and emotions are relaxed and more peaceful.
Prenatal yoga isn’t just all about breathing on a mat. It brings about numerous benefits not only to our body but more importantly, to our mind as well. These outlined perks should not only keep you even healthier but sway those anxieties away in no time. And as this is a practice itself, ensure that you conduct this on a regular basis to get its optimal results.
Was the article helpful enough for you to consider buying a yoga mat now and enroll in a class? I sure hope so. On the other hand, please feel free to sound your prenatal yoga experiences in the comment section below if you have one or two to confide!