Whether it’s your first pregnancy or third, your body goes through lots of dynamic changes that increases your stress on your body. This kind of stress is both mental and physical. Prenatal yoga is important to help keep the stress at bay, improve your health, and promote your baby’s health.
What is Prenatal Yoga?
Prenatal yoga is a type of yoga that can be done all throughout your pregnancy. It’s a mind and body practice that focuses on increasing flexibility and strength with poses specifically for pregnant women. Besides keeping you fit, prenatal yoga will teach you important techniques for proper breathing and relaxation that you will be able to utilize when you go into labor.
During pregnancy, your body goes through a lot of changes due to increase in hormones, stress, weight gain, change in your center of gravity, and a growing fetus. One of the most common complaints is back pain with pregnancy. This is usually due to those pregnancy hormones and a growing fetus. The relaxing hormones softens and loosens ligaments in your lower abdomen and joints become looser putting you at risk for injury just walking to the bathroom. If you are suffering with any aches and pains, prenatal yoga may be the answer to your problems. The American Pregnancy Association (APA) reports that 50 to 70% of people that are pregnant have back pain. That’s a high percentage! It’s important to note that if you are overweight or have previous back injury your risk is much higher.
What are the Benefits?
Prenatal yoga works to strength all those muscles that support your back and help take some of the work off your back by utilizing those muscles. When you engage and condition all the muscles supporting your back, it will result in a reduction (or prevention of back pain if you are the lucky 30-50% without back pain). Prenatal yoga improves flexibility. Tight hamstrings, glutes, and hip flexor muscles can also be adding to the pain a pregnant woman is suffering with. This type of yoga will help loosen those muscles while reducing and possibly eliminating your back pain.
When you’re pregnant especially the last few months it can be difficult to sleep due to a large fetus pushing up against your internal organs. The National Sleep Foundation found that pregnant women that practice mindful yoga have better quality sleep and wake up less frequently. Doing prenatal yoga a couple times a week can improve the amount of hours you can rest each night. This is important, because getting a full night of rest will give you more energy the next day as well as reduce your stress. Speaking of stress, the breathing techniques taught in yoga will also decrease your overall stress and anxiety level.
If you are suffering with frequent headaches, prenatal yoga can reduce the frequency you have them too. Through deep breathing and relaxation exercises, you will better be able to relax the muscles in your head and neck that is causing those problems. American Pregnancy Association reports one of the most common complaints during pregnancy are headaches, especially during the first and third trimesters. If you had problems with headaches before your pregnancy, these may be getting worse for you. A lack of sleep, stress, and poor posture are some causes to your troubling headaches. Each one of these factors can be controlled and helped with prenatal yoga. By strengthening your muscles, your posture will improve. We already know yoga will improve our stress and sleep situation.
Prenatal yoga offers a lengthy list of benefits that keep many pregnant women practicing yoga till they go into labor. With all the benefits of reduction of back pain, headaches, stress, improved posture, sleep, strengthen, and flexibility, it will definitely keep your pregnancy healthier, happier, and more restful. You ready? Go grab a yoga mat, towel, and water and get to that yoga studio you have been eyeing!
About the Author: Jennifer Budge wanted to create an article on prenatal yoga for her sister & amp; best friend, Lindsay Nicole Reid. I hope she sees the benefits and uses this to improve her quality of life for the next 23 weeks. Managing partner with Absolutely Elite llc & Manager for Charlotte Septic Services.