By Jessica Max, The Mind Unleashed
Prenatal yoga does a whole lot more for your body than just relaxing and keeping it fit. Doing yoga while pregnant also promotes a whole range of benefit for your baby and it is a multi-faceted childbirth preparation approach.
Research suggests that prenatal yoga encourages stretching, mental centering, and focused breathing that does wonders for expectant mothers and their babies.
Yoga can work on specific areas that pregnant women need, and below is a list of benefits that yoga can bring:
- Relaxes The Body
Yoga teachers would always start the session with deep breathing exercises which focus on breathing in and out of the nose slowly. It is a well-known fact that breathing is a very important part of pregnancy especially labor. It alleviates the pain and stress and takes the mother’s mind off their abdomen and relaxes their minds.
- Increases Circulation
Yoga aims to stretch and tone muscles which greatly help with blood circulation. With each pose, yoga teachers encourage a focus on deep breathing bringing more oxygen into your blood stream. As the muscles are elongated, blood circulation around our joints is enhanced which contributes to better immunity and reduce swelling.
- Connection With The Baby
The main focus of yoga is the body and what is it going through at the moment, this prenatal yoga practice enables the expectant mother to slow down and put her attention to every part of her body including the baby in her womb. Expectant mothers can take time off from her busy day and bond with her baby growing in her womb and focus on the body’s physical changes. There are some poses that can help mothers build a connection with their babies even before they are born like the hero pose. In doing the pose, mothers can visualize that they are giving their babies a hug as they exhale.
- Builds Stamina
As the baby in the womb grows the mother’s body needs more energy and stamina to carry the weight especially for the pelvic floor. Strengthening and toning the body with prenatal yoga give the right balance of strength and length. Yoga poses with lunges and gentle bends is a very important part of the exercise because it reinforces the support the mother needs to carry the growing load enabling the mother to carry the baby more comfortably and
- Relaxes The Nervous System
Deep breathing focus in every yoga pose help in calming the nervous system as it goes into parasympathetic mode. It is responsible for relaxation, proper bodily functions, fortified immune system, and better sleep. Yoga encourages listening to your own breathing during cool down which brings our inner calms and a state of self-awareness.
- Prepares You For Labor & Delivery
Our bodies natural reaction to fear and pain is to tighten up which can greatly sabotage a woman’s presence of mind during labor. Yogic deep mindful breathing will bring the mother into a mammalian place and tap on the body’s instincts when it comes to giving birth. A report from Mayo Clinic says breathing may work through contractions during labor.
- It May Give You A Healthier Pregnancy
Healthier mothers have healthier babies, yoga helps mothers carry their babies to full term and avoid preterm labor and low birth weight babies. The multidimensional approach of yoga helps the mother be healthier both in the physical and mental aspects which also translates to a healthier baby.
- It Will Help You Maintain Correct Posture
The mother’s center of gravity changes as the baby in the belly grows. As the baby grows, the abdominal muscles are stretched and weakened leaving the backbone as the only support the body which may cause more pain in the lumbar area. There are yoga poses that will work your belly to regain back the strength and help with keeping you upright.
But women who are at risk of premature labor are not recommended to practice prenatal yoga. It is important to consult your doctor before starting prenatal yoga.