Pregnancy happens to be one of the most beautiful experiences in the world, particularly for new moms. During the nine-month journey which is full of changes and emotions, doing yoga can help make it a little smoother and more enjoyable. Yoga can reduce any fear or anxiety that comes with pregnancy and make women feel relaxed and stress-free. Other common pregnancy problems that yoga can effectively address include swollen feet due to water retention, lower back pain, fatigue, leg cramps, and breathing difficulties among others. Here are six yoga tips that can help you remain healthy during your pregnancy:
Tip #1 – Practice Standing Yoga Poses To Ease Delivery
With the help of an instructor, learning yoga poses during the first trimester helps strengthen leg muscles, boosts blood flow, increases energy, and reduces leg cramps. Performing standing yoga poses will help limit experiencing common problems that arise when giving birth. The majority of pregnant women spend a lot of time with anxiety, wondering if they will be able to deliver safely. Liz Owen who is a Boston-based yoga trainer says, “Yoga improves the connection between an expectant mom and her baby, which makes a woman trust her instincts simply by listening to her body.”
Tip #2 – Have a Routine
If you are pregnant and want to remain healthy throughout the entire period, you should set aside adequate time for your meals, exercise and sleep. Come up with a daily schedule for yourself during the nine months. Your plan should be an easier one to stick to. Assign adequate time every day for yoga and meditation. You can start your morning by going for a walk, followed by moderate exercises or a refreshing workout like swimming.
Tip #3 – Avoid Yoga Poses That Add Pressure on Your Abdomen
According to the Art of Living Yoga experts, yoga poses that exert pressure on your abdomen and those that are difficult to perform during late pregnancy should be avoided by all means. Avoid overstretching your abdomen but instead focus on twisting poses targeting your shoulders as well as your upper back. Also don’t practice inversions, particularly from the tenth to the fourteenth week of pregnancy.
Tip #4 – Keep Your Back Straight and Chin Up
As your baby grows, most of its weight is felt on your back and legs. In order to avoid back pain, always keep your head, spine and neck properly aligned. Focus on your posture when standing, sitting or walking. When standing, ensure that your weight is properly distributed on both of your feet while avoiding leaning on one side. Performing yoga poses on a regular schedule will you help maintain your balance and improve your posture.
Tip #5 – Consume a Healthy Diet
You should eat a nutrient dense and healthy diet throughout your pregnancy to ensure good health for yourself as well as your baby. Consume plenty of leafy green vegetables, fruits and water to prevent constipation and leg cramps. Consider an easy to digest vegetarian diet. Yogurt and milk are good sources of calcium which are essential in promoting the development of your baby while strengthening your bones.
Tip #6 – Stay Happy
You are already happy because you are expecting a bundle of joy in months to come. Your happiness, as well as that of your baby, matters a lot. With yoga poses and moves (plus meditation if you like), you will feel more relaxed and happy. You can add happiness to your life during pregnancy by reaching out to your close friends, listening to soothing music or watching some funny movies.
Advantages Of Prenatal Yoga
Yoga Improves The Baby’s Birth Position
Doing yoga poses allows the pelvic bones and ligaments to open up and move apart from each other. This is necessary as it optimizes the baby’s birth position by creating more room for the head to snuggle at the bottom of the uterus a few hours before delivery. Certain prenatal yoga poses, like pelvic tilts, can be helpful in encouraging the baby to turn into the head-down position which is recommended for vaginal birth.
Prenatal Yoga Improves Relaxation
The connection between mind and body is very important when it comes to labor and delivery, and through yoga women have access to deep emotional strength as well as self-confidence, particularly in muscle contractions when pushing the baby out of the womb. Yoga poses like deep squats can go a long way in relaxing and opening the hips. These yoga poses provide control over strong hip and pelvic muscles, easing the tension when under stress. Jane Austin, who is a pre and post-natal yoga trainer based in San Francisco, says, “A woman’s ability to deliver a baby is directly related to her ability to relax the gripping muscles.” Austin also says that, “Prenatal yoga poses help build muscles where strength is needed and cultivate skills for the ability to release tension, pain and tightness from the body.”
Prenatal Yoga Improves Pregnancy Control
Studies have shown a strong connection between a woman’s level of confidence and the ability to perform tasks with ease during pregnancy. In addition, doing yoga helps for a more satisfying labor and delivery experience. In a 1999 study, it was found that high-efficacy during the third trimester helps a woman perceive labor pain more easily. Women were able to be in control of their bodies even when they experienced the most physical pain of the delivery process. In another study conducted in Taiwan in 2009, it was found that there is a strong connection between prenatal yoga practice and high-efficacy that eases delivery. According to Adam Romoff, M.D., an ob-gyn at Lenox Hill Hospital in NYC, any form of learned breathing, concentrating, or relaxation behavior can be helpful.
Yoga Boosts Physical Stamina
Prenatal yoga helps increase a woman’s overall physical stamina during pregnancy. In addition, some yoga poses can improve an expectant mother’s physical endurance if labor lasts longer than usual during delivery. It has also been shown that regular yoga practice shortens the length of labor for as much as two hours. The increase in stamina originates from the physical discipline a woman installs when holding yoga poses for a long duration in an effort to build strength. Yoga’s concentration on breathing workouts meant to help the lungs expand to their full capacity also contributes to boosting a woman’s physical stamina. However, some of these yoga poses can be quite challenging during late pregnancy and should be undertaken with the close supervision of a qualified yoga instructor or medical expert.
Staying healthy throughout the entire pregnancy period is on the top of the list for every expectant mother. While several factors can negatively impact a woman’s experience during pregnancy, prenatal yoga poses and techniques can help make a difference and help a woman remain healthy until delivery. Also, yoga exercises can ease delivery and improve the overall quality of life for a woman and her baby.