Is Yoga Safe During Pregnancy?

Congratulations on your pregnancy. And kudos to you for thinking about improving your health with an exercise program!

Prenatal Yoga can be a great way to work out, as well as de-stress during pregnancy. Prenatal Yoga, in addition to being great for you and your baby, can help you actually prepare for the labor ahead.

Yoga encompasses stretching, controlled breathing, as well as mental relaxation.  Numerous studies have shown that prenatal yoga is safe and beneficial for pregnant women and their babies.

According to the studies, prenatal yoga can:

  • Lessen the stress and anxiety an expectant mother may be feeling about her changing body and impending labor
  • Help with sleep problems
  • Improve strength and flexibility
  • Tone muscles needed for childbirth
  • Decrease the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension and preterm labor

 

Some other very significant benefits is that prenatal yoga can help you meet and bond with other pregnant women in your area. This can be a great resource for you now, and in the future as well, when you can get together again as new parents! Another important plus is that yoga can give you time to focus on yourself before becoming a new parent. Soon, this alone time will be a distant but pleasant memory! J

That being said, there are certain styles of yoga that are most definitely not appropriate or safe for pregnant women. Please avoid Ashtanga yoga (too strenuous) and Bikram yoga, which is done in a hot room and will raise body temperatures to an unsafe level for an expectant mom.

As with all forms of exercise, please consult your doctor before beginning. After you have received your doctor’s approval, please make sure to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the class. Additionally certain postures involving laying on your back or belly should be generally avoided.  It is important to check that the instructor is qualified/certified to teach prenatal yoga. And as always, please use common sense and always listen to your body!

Wishing you a healthy and happy pregnancy!