Nourish - The Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
Prenatal yoga is a fantastic way to provide your body with strength, flexibility and endurance, as well as helping with reducing stress and anxiety.
Here are the biggest draws to prenatal yoga:
It can help you connect with the changes in your new body
Prenatal yoga can help to ease you into these changes and allow you to let go of what your body used to look like and be able to do. It helps guide you to what you can do now and how you can use it to ensure a healthy happy baby.
A lot of things will start to change during your transition into and throughout your pregnancy and it is a good idea to support your body throughout. Prenatal yoga can be a brilliant tool for you to nurture, support and strengthen your body where it needs it most.
Prenatal yoga helps to keep your core and posture strong
Plus it can help aid those pregnancy aches and pains. For one thing, your posture is going to change as a result of the centre of gravity adjusting as your baby grows.
In order to stay upright, there is a balance between the lower back muscles and the four abdominal muscles. When your baby grows, resulting in a larger belly, this pushes forward and stretches the abdominals beyond their original shape. This can cause a weakening which results in lower back pain and strain.
A qualified yoga instructor can advise on the best postures to ease this pain and keep your posture supported.
You’ll strengthen your abdominal muscles.
Ensuring your abdominal muscles are supported and strengthened during your pregnancy will also help to keep your core strong. In turn this can help prevent the separation between the left and right side of the abdominals. This occasionally occurs after the birth of a baby.
This doesn’t mean you should go full-out and work those abs till they burn!
In a prenatal class, your instructor will give you the correct and safe yoga poses for strengthening this area responsibly.
They will also focus on the pelvic floor muscle.
This muscle is a hammock of muscles that form a bowl attached to the pelvis. During pregnancy, it is especially important to exercise your pelvic floor muscle. After all, it has to support a greatly increased load at this time (AKA your baby!)
Ensuring you have a strong pelvic floor muscle may help with carrying the baby more comfortably during pregnancy, as well as helping during labour and delivery.
There are many causes of a weakened pelvic floor muscle, including a previous pregnancy and birth, caesarean, your age and a lack of activity.
Like other muscles, the pelvic floor muscle needs to be strengthened and re-strengthened after giving birth to help prevent any unwanted symptoms. These include a weakened bladder (urinary/stool incontinence), sagging or prolapse of the uterus, bladder or rectum, to name a few.
A prenatal yoga class (and even a yin/prenatal class post-pregnancy) will help you to strengthen these muscles effectively. If you’re not sure about the class, you can even start practising at home. During urination, stop urinating mid-stream. This sensation is the contraction of the pelvic floor. Do this every time you pee to strengthen the muscles up.
Prenatal yoga is a great way to bring flexibility into your hips
More flexibility in the hips helps them get ready to facilitate an easier birth by stretching the ligaments in the pelvis, hip and leg areas. Equally, this can make the positions and pushing in labour that bit easier.
It also helps develop good breathing habits
Especially good during labour to help cope with the pain and to keep you focused.
Not only does being in control of your breath help to keep you in the moment, but it also allows you to improve your sense of concentration and focus. Breathing is a very important part of delivering a baby. It helps the body prepare for the process of labour. It also helps to relax the body both mentally and physically, helping to take the mind off pain during labour.
I must again reiterate how important it is important that you are taken through these exercises and positions by a qualified instructor. Certain yoga positions and poses can be incredibly detrimental to a growing baby’s health and can be very dangerous. Certain positions and breathing patterns can block the flow of air to the baby therefore always ensure you’re guided by a qualified instructor.
Check out the other blog posts in our pregnancy series here:
- 5 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
- 7 Nutrients and Supplements to Look For in a Prenatal Diet
- Shopping List for Pre-conception, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet, especially when you’re pregnant or trying to conceive.