We all know that a healthy lifestyle is important. When you are pregnant, your baby is completely relying on you so it’s even more important to stay active and have a healthy pregnancy – physically and emotionally.
The experts all agree: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the UK and The Australasian College of Sports Medicine all say that moderate-intensity exercise is important for pregnant women.
Yoga is the best all-round form of exercise and the one recommended by many Midwives and Doctors. When practiced correctly, prenatal yoga is safe and beneficial for both mum and baby.
Here’s just some of the ways that pregnancy yoga can help you:
- Feel more energetic. Growing a baby is tiring, but there is still work to be done so you need energy, which yoga will help to restore.
- Relax, reduce stress and anxiety. According to experts, everything the pregnant mother feels and thinks is communicated through neurohormones to her unborn child, just as surely as are alcohol and nicotine. So relaxation, positive thinking and connection can nurture a healthier and happier child during pregnancy. Yoga is highly effective in endorphin production, which lifts your mood and makes you feel great.
- Sleep better. Indigestion, insomnia and hip pain are common in pregnancy and prevent you from getting the rest you need. Yoga can help with all these conditions.
- Maintain a healthy weight. A healthy diet is critical but a regular yoga practice will also help you maintain a healthy weight which also reduces your chance of developing conditions like Gestational Diabetes.
- Reduce back pain. The weight of your baby causes back pain in 40-50% of pregnant women. Yoga will stretch out your upper and lower back, reducing these problems.
- Build strength. Yoga poses strengthen the legs and core to prevent and ease lower back problems so you can carry your growing baby with ease.
- Improve your posture. Good posture is also critical to reducing back pain.
- Feel prepared and confident for an empowering birth. Yogic breathing techniques and positions for active birth will build your confidence ready for the birth of your baby, increasing your chance of a natural delivery.
- Help to position your baby correctly. Prenatal yoga is designed to assist with correct positioning of the baby – making the labour as easy and smooth as possible!
- Build your pelvic floor muscles. Pregnancy and birth places your pelvic floor muscles under enormous strain. During a yoga class particular poses help you to become familiar with your pelvic floor so you can learn how to activate (and relax) these muscles correctly.
- Get back into shape more easily after giving birth. Keeping active during your pregnancy will make it easier to bounce back after giving birth.
- Start bonding with your baby. A yoga class gives you special time to turn your attention inwards, learning to listen to and connect with your baby. Guided visualisations and touch are an important part of prenatal yoga.