Yoga for pregnant women, also called prenatal yoga, is a great way to exercise while staying safe and healthy. Exercise in general is incredibly beneficial for most pregnant women. It can help you gain a healthy amount of weight, improve your overall fitness, strengthen your heart, and even help you lose the baby weight after your baby is born. However, not all exercise is created equal. With so many changes to your body occurring it can be difficult to find a healthy fitness routine that won’t cause undue stress. Yoga designed for pregnant women is one of the best ways to stay fit, and be safe.
Why Yoga for Pregnant Women?
So why is yoga better for pregnant women than other types of exercise? Well, your body is going through a lot of changes, and that means you will not be able to do all the different things you used to. For example, the hormones created during pregnancy can cause your ligaments to become more relaxed. This means it is much easier for you to roll an ankle, or strain any of your other joints. Most high-impact cardio workouts require strong ligaments, so those exercises can increase your risk of injuring yourself.
Similarly, your body now has an increased amount of weight in the belly region. This means that your center of gravity will shift causing your balance to be less stable. This means that you are at a greater risk of falling when you are pregnant. In addition, this excess strain on your lower back and pelvis can cause stress and pain to those parts of your body. You don’t want to perform any exercises that many use those muscles a lot.
Finally, breathing is an important part of exercise. When you exercise oxygen goes to your muscles and away from other parts of your body. And when you are pregnant your body needs more oxygen, therefore this may limit your ability to do high-intensity exercise. It is for these reasons that yoga is one of the most popular exercises for pregnant women, because it takes all of this into account.
Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
While yoga is a great option for pregnant women, not all yoga is created equal. There are some strenuous forms of yoga that are not suitable for pregnant women – including hot yoga. When done correctly, and in the proper environment, yoga can be extremely beneficial. Some benefits of prenatal yoga include:
- Improved sleep
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Increased strength, flexibility and endurance
- Decreased lower back pain, and nausea
- And preparation of muscles for labor
Prenatal yoga is so beneficial to the mother’s health that a study published in Prev Med even found a correlation between prenatal yoga and the reduction of hypertension-related complications. It can also improve the fetal outcome.
In order to prevent any strain on yourself or the baby, you will want to modify some of the yoga poses. Most prenatal yoga instructors are trained to know how/when to have you modify your poses. And many prenatal yoga classes only use poses that are suitable for women who are pregnant. If you are doing it home, you can always try to find some instructional videos on YouTube. But we still wanted to break down some of the things you want to avoid.
- It is best to avoid deep twisting exercises while pregnant. Twisting can cause undue stress on your spine which can cause pain.
- Try to avoid any stressful ab movements, as these can cause tension and pain in the lower back area.
- As your belly grows, you may want to avoid postures that have you putting weight on your belly.
- Oftentimes as your baby grows, there is pressure on your lower back, you don’t want to make it worse, so try to modify the poses to relieve the tension.
Each trimester of your pregnancy brings new challenges. That is why many women choose to attend yoga classes for pregnant women. That way the instructor can help you modify your poses for your individual needs.
After you have given birth it can be tempting to jump right back into the old exercises or yoga you used to do. However, sometimes this can make things even worse. Most doctors will clear you for exercise at around 6 weeks postpartum, but this is often not enough time for your body to heal. Many women suffer from a postpartum condition called diastasis recti. This condition separates your abdomen muscles causing any sort of abdominal movements to be painful.
The key to fixing diastasis recti is not to exercise them more. The key is to allow them to heal. Your abdomen muscles separated over the course of your entire pregnancy, it takes them more than 6 weeks to go back to normal. In order to avoid making the situation worse you will want to avoid certain yoga poses, and sometimes even every day movements. This can be incredibly difficult to do, but that is why Bellefit is here to help.
Bellefit’s postpartum girdles are designed for women with diastasis recti. The girdles allow you to use your muscles in everyday situations without causing any stress. Simply bending down in the wrong way can cause problems, but postpartum girdles help your core to remain stabilized. This allows you to get back to doing the things you love while still recovering. We hope that this has been a helpful guide of why yoga for pregnant women is beneficial and how you can have a smoother, faster recovery.