Giving birth requires energy and stamina, so staying active during pregnancy is good preparation for the hard work that lies ahead. Keeping up a yoga routine may even help shorten your labour and help the birth to go smoothly.
There are endless benefits expecting mothers receive from rolling out the mat. Here are a few of the reasons why:
1. Breathing is key in yoga and during pregnancy.
Many pregnant women experience shortness of breath due to the fact that the body needs more oxygen, but their growing bellies limit diaphragm movement. With emphasis on the breath during a yoga class, prenatal students can find areas in the body where they can optimize each inhale. The focus of alignment in the spine creates more space for the lungs to expand, and stretches in the side body can be helpful for inviting more air into the sides of the ribcage.
2. Grounding yoga postures can help create a deeper mind-body connection.
Many expectant moms experience anxiety during pregnancy of not being prepared enough for when the baby arrives. The fear of the unknown leads to stress, and can cause a disruption to the mother’s and baby’s health. Incorporating grounding yoga postures and reminding students to get out of their heads and onto the mat during class can be a relief for any self-induced expectations that may not be necessary during this incredible personal journey.
3. Hip-opening postures are great preparations to loosen up the hips for labour and birth.
In addition to easing the delivery process, the hips can cause discomfort during the later stages of pregnancy in day-to-day activities. By incorporating hip stretches into your routine, the hips release both physical and emotional tension, reducing pain associated with tight hips.
4. Relief for low back pain from forward fold postures is extremely helpful.
As the belly gets bigger, it increases the arch in the lumbar spine, which can cause low back pain. Standing forward folds can be a huge help to relieve back pain. Moreover, when the hamstrings are tight, you can experience tightness in the low back. Stretching out the hamstrings can greatly reduce back pain.
5. Preparing for contractions by learning to calm the mind is essential for labour and birth.
By holding some difficult yoga postures like chair pose against the wall, you can practice finding some peace in the challenge. When the mind is in a furry it has a direct effect on the body and can create tension and resistance. By breathing through the pain, the mind can calm down to relax the body and move through the contraction.
Whether you take private yoga classes for more personal attention, or you participate with other expecting mothers in your community, yoga can improve your overall experience and bring more joy and bliss to you and your little one during this journey!