Congratulations! You just found out you’re pregnant! Now what? Pregnancy is an exciting time full of new experiences and challenges to navigate. It can be understandably difficult to decide how to provide optimum care for your body as well as your baby. That’s where yoga comes in. Prenatal yoga is a popular option among pregnant women to both relax and stay active. Even if you’ve never done yoga before that’s totally fine! According to BabyCentre, the best time to start prenatal yoga is during the second trimester. But of course, consult your physician before attempting any significant increase in activity. Classes specifically focused on pregnancy can be great because of their gentle nature, but most yoga instructors will even give modifications for poses to accommodate pregnant women.
Here are a few of the reasons you’re going to want to consider starting a prenatal yoga practice.
- Helps the body adjust. Your body’s shape and weight will undoubtedly change throughout your pregnancy. This means your sense of balance may be slightly different and certain muscles might have to work harder. Doing yoga will help you stay in tune with your body’s changing needs and learn how to accommodate them.
- Teaches correct posture. Again, your changing body may require a shift in posture to best protect your spine and joints. Pregnancy and child care can cause your posture to suffer, but the chest opening asanas in yoga can make a huge difference.
- Improves body image. Loving your body is a constant practice that may change before and after the baby comes. Maintaining a regular yoga practice can help you develop even more compassion for your body. Yoga has been shown to help individuals with poor body image. Of course, you are more than just your body, but it’s important to be primed with knowledge on how to address difficulties should they arise.
- Creates a bond with the baby. Did you know relaxing your mind and body during yoga can make you feel more in touch with your growing baby bump? Also, doing yoga both while pregnant and afterwards will give you that “me time” you might crave.
- Strengthens the pelvic floor. One of the many muscles yoga helps strengthen is the pelvic floor. It’s especially important to exercise this part of the body during pregnancy. Having a strong core and pelvic floor makes pushing much easier and prevents urinary incontinence after birth.
- Eases labor. If labor is anxiety-inducing for you then I have good news! Yoga has been shown to help make labor shorter and easier. The overall empowerment that expecting mothers gain through yoga encourages women to be to listen to their bodies, making last minute changes in labor easier to navigate with confidence. Also, the intimate connection between mother and baby strengthened by yoga can also be a helpful boost to get through labor.
- Relieves discomfort. Unfortunately, the joy of being pregnant comes with a slew of pregnancy related ailments like bloating and backaches. These discomforts can be alleviated with the right asanas, which a prenatal-specific yoga class will address.
- Lessens postpartum depression. Although not all women experience it, going through postpartum depression can be an isolating and frustrating time. Sprinkling yoga into your day just a few minutes at a time can help you feel more grounded and at ease. Just remember that taking care of yourself is just as important of a factor in taking care of your family.
- Allows rest. Pregnant ladies and moms everywhere could use a little more rest in their lives. Even if don’t have time fall asleep completely, yoga can help send your body into a relaxed and restful state equivalent to catching a few more zzzz’s each night.
- Provides a social experience. Prenatal yoga classes can be helpful in building a support group of women in a similar situation who you can meet and bond with.
Sounds great right? If you’re interested in learning more about how yoga can benefit your pregnancy be sure to read our article on Mental Benefits of Yoga for Pregnant Mothers for some personal anecdotes we’ve collected.
Also, this post is a part of our Benefits of Yoga series. Stay tuned for next week’s installment: 10 Benefits of Yoga for Children. Follow my blog with Bloglovin
May you have a wonderful pregnancy and birth!
Follow us on Follow to stay up to date with all our blog posts!