Prenatal yoga can be a great way to prepare for childbirth. It is a multifaceted approach to exercise that encourages stretching, mental centering, and focused breathing. Research suggests that prenatal yoga is safe and can have many benefits for mom and her baby.
Prenatal yoga can:
- Improve sleep
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Increase strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
- Decrease lower back pain, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms,headaches and shortness of breath.
Prenatal yoga can also help you meet and bond with other pregnant women and prepare for the stresses and joys of being a new parent.
Benefits of postpartum yoga
Mother the mother. Women are givers by nature, but giving themselves priority doesn’t always happen. Taking some time for yourself should be a priority. During postpartum yoga classes, the focus is on you, the mama, so you will be refreshed and ready to take on the day after class.
Physical and emotional benefits include:
- Community. Connect with your peers about the challenges and joys of being a new mother
- Rebuild flexibility and muscle tone. Help your body handle the new demands of caring for your baby. Developing strength in abdominal and back muscles reduces postpartum back pain.
- Maintain spinal integrity. Breastfeeding can cause the spine and shoulders to become rounded and sore.
- Routine exercise may prevent postpartum depression
- Cultivate patience. Caring for a newborn takes an intensive amount of energy. Stay with one breath at a time, one pose at a time. Cultivating connection on the mat can help new moms be connected through long hours and days and months of a newborns life.
The postpartum period lasts up to two years, so practicing yoga is a great way to get your strength back, take time for yourself, create new friendships, and maybe even prepare for the next baby.
Please check with your doctor or midwife before returning to class after the delivery of your baby.