10 Yoga Poses For Pregnancy Pains, That Will Do Your Body Some Good

Ad failed to load

When it comes to most of the common pregnancy aches and pains, there's not always a ton you can do. Discomfort is part of the package — your muscles and ligaments are supposed to be loosening up and lengthening, and sometimes that hurts. On top of that, painkillers are largely off-limits. And even if you just stop and lie down, sometimes there's no way to get comfortable and relax. But that doesn't mean you're completely out of luck. There are a few particularly amazing yoga poses for pregnancy pains. Taking some time to stretch and stabilize yourself can do great things for your body, and you just might impress yourself with how strong you actually are.

Of course, before you begin a yoga practice, you should always check with your medical provider to make sure it's right for you. And once you get the all-clear, it's a good idea to look for an instructor who is trained in prenatal yoga. Some common positions and poses are off-limits for pregnant people, or need to be modified.

And, as always with yoga, it's important to listen to what your body's telling you — if a pose is too intense or causing you pain, back out of it and go to something safe. Your goal is to take it slow and gentle.

Ad failed to load

1For Your Hips And Legs: Goddess


If there's a time in your life when you'll hit peak goddess, it has to be while you're literally giving life to another human being. So start prepping your inner deity by getting into goddess pose, as suggested by Do You Yoga. With both feet planted on the floor, you'll feel stable and grounded, but the lower you sink into the pose, the more energy you'll feel, especially in your hips and legs.

2For Your Spine And Belly: Cat-Cow


Cat-Cow is a gentle but oh-so-effective sequence for lightly stretching your spinal and abdominal muscles, and comes recommended by Greatist. As you inhale into cow pose, focus on moving your spine slowly, vertebra by vertebra, starting with your tailbone. Then do the same as you exhale into your cat pose. Repeat as desired for an alternating belly and back massage!

3For Your Thighs And Groin: Butterfly


Pre-pregnancy, you might have done butterfly while reclining flat on your back, but many pregnancy yoga instructors will advise you against doing any poses in that position. However, you can remain seated and still get the inner thigh-stretching benefits of butterfly pose — or "bound angle pose," as it's called on Healthline.

This one has the potential to get intense if you're not used to it, so if you need some support, be generous with props like pillows or bolsters underneath your knees. As your muscles release and your knees fall apart more easily, you'll be able to reduce the height of the props.

Ad failed to load

4For Your Legs, Spine, And Chest: Chair Pose


Chair pose, which we do regularly in my prenatal yoga class, is a bit of a misnomer — the look you're going for is not so much sitting on a chair but more "like you're sitting on a toilet," as one of my instructors used to say. And since pregnant people spend a lot more time than usual doing just that, this one should feel pretty natural. The deeper you sink into chair pose, the more you'll feel it in your ankles, calves, and thighs. Keep your arms actively reaching to increase the stretch throughout your body.

5For Your Hips And Thighs: Child's Pose


In any yoga practice, child's pose usually signals a break from the hard work, a pause in between strenuous vinyasa sequences, as HuffPost points out. But it still provides a gentle stretch for your hips, thighs, and ankles, explained Yoga Journal. If you're used to doing child's pose a particular way, you may have to modify it during pregnancy, especially as your belly gets bigger. Make sure to spread your knees apart to make room for your abdomen, and be prepared to experiment with different positions for resting your head comfortably, whether that's with your forehead directly on the mat, or on top of your arms as they're folded in front of you.

6For Your Back: Triangle


Triangle is one of those poses that looks impressive, feels great, and is much easier to do than it might appear. And, as HuffPost says, it can relieve some tension by helping you regain a sense of balance. Best of all, it targets pregnancy backache while also stretching and strengthening lots of related muscles in your thighs, knees, and ankles, Yoga Journal explained.

Ad failed to load

7For Your Chest And Neck: Bridge


"Bridge Pose can be whatever you need — energizing, rejuvenating, or luxuriously restorative," according to Yoga Journal. And Healthline recommended it for pregnant women. So while you'll need to take it slow to get into the pose safely, once you're there, you can settle into it as your chest, neck, and spine open up.

8For Your Legs And Spine: Tree


Pregnancy can throw your sense of balance, so tree pose can be an empowering way to explore your strength and stability, as I've discovered in my pregnancy yoga classes. But do it safely: Stand next to a wall so you can catch yourself if you lose your balance, and don't put your foot on your thigh if you aren't confident of your ability to balance.

Tree pose is as much about rooting through the ground as it is about getting one leg up, so you'll still get the benefits if you just balance on your toes instead of lifting your foot completely off the ground, or if you press your raised foot against your calf instead of your thigh. (Pro tip for staying balanced: pick a spot on the ground to look at and stay focused on it.)

9For Your Back And Groin: Garland


With both feet planted on the ground, and even perched on a stack of blankets if you prefer, garland pose keeps you stable while allowing you to control how much of a stretch you want to ease into. You'll feel it in your legs and back, and it comes recommended by Do You Yoga.

Ad failed to load

10For Pretty Much Everything: Pigeon


Yoga Journal prescribed the humble pigeon pose, a powerhouse for pregnant women looking for an all-in-one stretch. You'll be strengthening your thighs, groin, psoas (large muscles that go from either side of your lower spine through the groin and help flex your hip), abdomen, chest, shoulders, and neck. Depending on how flexible you are, it may not necessarily be easy at first to get into, so only try what you are comfortable with, especially if you are not with an instructor to guide you.

With any of these moves, take your time and be patient with yourself. You may find that you can do more than you thought.

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s Bullsh*t

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

I’m Registered At Babies “R” Us, & I'm Freaking The Hell Out

Hi. My name is Abi, and I’m registered at Babies “R” Us — and I’m freaking out. This may sound silly, but after being a die-hard Toys “R” Us kid, I was so excited to register at their baby store once my husband and I finally got our big fat positive …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

Women Who Miscarry Early Deserve To Grieve — Here's How Hospitals Should Be Helping

When I lost my baby back in 2013, it was because of a very early miscarriage. Because of the little amount of time I spent being pregnant, it was though my child had never really existed, which made the next few years hard — I felt like they had been…
By Risa Kerslake

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

7 Reasons Why March Babies Are Total Badasses

From the moment you become pregnant, you begin to wonder what your little one will be like. Will they look like you, your partner, or your Great Aunt Edna? Will they be the quiet, thoughtful type or arrive on this planet raring to go? It's fun to ima…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

9 Easy Kid Foods To Turn Green, Just In Time For St. Patrick's Day

The best part about having kids is that you get your own personal crew to celebrate the holidays with, in all your color coordinating and matching glory. And with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, you are obviously working on turning everyth…
By Mishal Ali Zafar