Doctors say if you’re expecting, you’ve got to keep moving. Walking and moderate aerobics are typically recommended for most pregnant women, but finding the best and most comfortable exercise for you is the best way to stay healthy during your pregnancy. Yoga might be just what you were looking for. Doctors say pre-natal yoga is a great way to relieve stress and stay fit at the same time.
If not only for stress relief, prenatal yoga can also be a great way to prepare your body for childbirth — more flexible muscles, improve breathing practice, and a more focused mind — and promote your baby's health at the same time.
“Finding ways to relax yourself, preparing for labor and the challenges of pregnancy, changes in the body, that sort of thing. To relieve some stress,” prenatal yoga instructor Pamela Bradshaw told NBC local affiliate WBIR.
Prenatal yoga is similar to other types of childbirth-preparation classes because it encourages stretching, mental centering, and focused breathing. All of which will come in handy on the delivery day and the following days of motherhood. Research suggests that this exercise is safe for you and your baby and there are many health benefits to prenatal yoga other than stress relief, including better sleep, strength and flexibility, and decreased lower back pain.
If you’re feeling stressed, it’s likely that your baby is also feel stressed. In fact, persistent stress can result in poor pregnancy health and can lead to developmental issues with the baby later on in life.
“When a mother is stressed, several biological changes occur, including elevation of stress hormones and increased likelihood of intrauterine infection,” assistant professor of behavioral science, obstetrics, and gynecology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine Dr. Pathik Wadhwa told WebMD. “The fetus builds itself permanently to deal with this kind of high-stress environment, and once it's born may be at greater risk for a whole bunch of stress-related pathologies.”
Taking prenatal yoga isn't only limited to its health benefits. You also can meet and bond with other expecting moms.
"Taking a prenatal yoga class is a great way to meet other pregnant women — to become part of a community," registered nurse and prenatal yoga instructor Cynthea Denisetold Babycenter.com. Being around others with buns in the oven is not only a supportive environment, but it can help keep you motivated to continue exercising throughout your pregnancy.
Prenatal yoga classes are widely offered in a major cities, but if you are unable to find an instructor who is specifically trained in prenatal yoga make sure to let your instructor know you’re pregnant. Yoga is a low-impact and calming exercise as it is, so even though you are pregnant there aren’t many restrictions early in your pregnancy.
Pregnancy comes with plenty of reasons to be stressed out and prenatal yoga might be way to help and calm your mind while you prepare to welcome your bundle of joy to a stress-free new world.