Yoga is a great way to strengthen your body while preparing for childbirth or recovering from it. It can boost your mental stamina to hang tough and work through the contractions, and helps to calm yourself at 2am when the baby won’t sleep.
Having a workout routine may be something already established in your life. Maybe you decided to focus more attention on it when you found out about your pregnancy. Perhaps you are looking for a way to build your body after baby has arrived. Pregnancy or postpartum yoga is a great way to do that.
Working your body has great health benefits no matter what stage of life you are in. Stress reduction, body strength, flexibility, reduced back pain, and better sleep are just a few of the benefits.
Yoga is a great way to prepare your body to go through labor. It builds your strength, flexibility and stamina, both physically and mentally. If you are planning to have an unmedicated birth, or plan to labor a while before getting the epidural, the routine of practicing yoga prepares you for coping with contractions. Because you already have this routine, during labor you naturally use the positions, breathing, and relaxation your body is accustomed too.
Things to think about…
When practicing yoga, it is important to be aware of how you are feeling. Any position that causes pain, contractions, dizziness, or headaches should be avoided. There may be certain poses that you need to avoid or modify as you practice yoga throughout your pregnancy.
Hot yoga is not recommended during pregnancy. Because of the hormone Relaxin, which causes your joints and muscles to relax, your body is more flexible during pregnancy. This increased flexibility can increase your risk of overextending your joints and muscles if you practice hot yoga. The heat can also cause you to overheat, faint, and may lower your blood pressure to an unsafe level. Overheating during pregnancy with the use of hot yoga or hot tubs is also suspected of increasing the risk or neural tube defects. Always check with your provider before starting yoga or a new form of exercise.
Finding a prenatal yoga class near you is a great way to ensure you are practicing yoga safely. These classes are designed with pregnant parents in mind, and besides gaining strength and flexibility, you may make a new friend. Your same yoga studio may also have postpartum classes so after baby is born, you can get back to your workout safely.
However you choose to work your body in pregnancy or recovering from childbirth, we wish you much success!