Thinking of trying prenatal yoga? Here are answers to 4 common questions that you may be wondering about…
When you are pregnant, it seems everyone has an opinion about what you should or shouldn’t do! One important skill to learn early on in the pregnancy is to be able to listen to these opinions, comment politely and then make up your own mind. 🙂 Keep in mind that there are as many different ways of having and raising children as there are children, and even before your child is born you need to do what works for you and your family, not what worked for someone else. This doesn’t mean you should ignore advice that is given to you. Learning what worked for others may be helpful in figuring out what worked for you. Ultimately, however, the decision is going to be up to you.
Nowhere is this more true than when considering what forms of exercise you will participate in while pregnant. Prenatal yoga is a very popular form of exercise for both expectant moms and new moms alike. However, some women get nervous about exercising when their bodies are going through so many changes. If you are considering taking up prenatal yoga, here are answers to a few questions you may be wondering about:
FAQ #1: Is Yoga Good for Me While I Am Pregnant?
There are numerous benefits of yoga for pregnant women – physical, mental and also spiritual. In a nutshell, prenatal yoga is designed to give you a toolbox of techniques and methods for dealing with your pregnancy, your labor and even the stressful times of the first few days, weeks and months after the birth. Experience has shown that women who participate in prenatal yoga are better equipped to deal with the delivery itself as well as the recovery period after the birth.
FAQ #2: Is It Safe To Learn Yoga During Pregnancy?
For most women, it is perfectly safe to start yoga during your pregnancy provided you begin your class with a qualified Prenatal Yoga teacher. Prenatal Yoga is specifically designed for pregnancy because there are exercises and techniques in regular yoga classes that are not always appropriate for a pregnant women. However, you will, of course want to consult with your doctor to make sure yoga is safe for you before you begin. You should also talk to your instructor about your pregnancy before the class begins so you can be sure that they understand anything unique to your pregnancy that may require exercises to be modified (for instance women carrying twins are encouraged not to do squatting exercises).
FAQ #3: How Will Prenatal Yoga Benefit Me Physically?
Yoga is a discipline which is designed to regulate the blood flow and breathing as well as strengthen the body in general. All of these offer benefits to pregnant women. Blood flow is of course critical in ensuring that your body is getting all the nutrients and oxygen to all the organs that need it as your baby grows. It’s possible for baby to get greedy and hog these resources, or the opposite could happen and the baby is deprived of what is needed to grow. Increased strength will help you deal with the delivery by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. This can potentially shorten the duration of labor and it should also decrease the time it takes for the vaginal canal to recover from the birth. There is even some evidence that the increased blood flow to the skin may assist in avoiding and/or recovering from stretch marks.
FAQ #4: Should I Keep Doing Yoga After the Birth?
Why not? You will continue getting all the benefits discussed above and many more! If you haven’t done yoga before, you will probably want to go to at least one standard yoga class, as these can be quite different than prenatal yoga classes. Of course life can be quite hectic with a new baby so the opportunities to attend formal classes are probably going to be few and far between. Luckily one of the biggest benefits of yoga as an exercise regime is that it doesn’t require specialized equipment, so it’s possible to do in the comfort of your own home during those few precious moments when your baby is asleep. Taking care of your own health is important so that you have the energy and stamina to keep up with your new baby as he or she grows into an active toddler! An ongoing yoga practice can be a great way to give yourself some much-needed TLC.