Prenatal Yoga – A great way to prepare for Childbirth

If you’re pregnant and want to exercise, the good news is that the two can go together! High-intensity aerobic and strength training workouts are out of the question; however, yoga might be the answer that you are looking for! Many believe that yoga practice can boost your mind and prepare your body for labour and birth. Yoga also helps to keep your pregnancy hassle-free, which pregnant women opt for. 


So what can yoga do for you? 

As yoga helps women to get through their pregnancy with minimal discomfort, it also acts as a catalyst to keep the body active and healthy. Additionally, pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, vomit and constipation can be minimized too. Take note that the poses mentioned here provide a general advice; expectant mothers are advised to modify their yoga poses from time to time, depending on their comfort levels. Any yoga performed should be in the presence of a personal trainer/ instructor, as they can guide you as to which yoga activities suit you the best, taking all factors into consideration. 

Ask yoga experts on what best suits pregnant mums and you’ll get a long list. But, yoga experts recommend abstaining any yoga poses or exercises during the first trimester, as the womb is very vulnerable, even with minor stretching. For mums who are in the second trimester, they are to avoid yoga poses that stretch the muscles, particularly the abdominals. As pregnant mums will produce a hormone called relaxin that provides flexibility during delivery, mums-to-be are advised to perform standing yoga poses, using a chair to prevent a loss of balance and falling, which risks injury to your baby and you.

Thus, the best yoga asanas (poses) for mums in their second trimester are the Butterfly Stretch, which will help to ease delivery as it stretches the inner thighs, groins and knees, and the Side Angle Pose, an asana not only great for the hips but which also strengthens and stretches the legs, knees and ankles.

 

Back ache is a common problem for mums and the Triangle Pose and Warrior 2 are considered the best yoga activities for this. This workout stretches and strengthens the thighs, knees and ankles and also does wonders for the hips, groins, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest and spine. Most importantly, it relieves backache. Yoga experts suggest doing these asanas at least two times in a week and if time permits, performing them on a daily basis at home. If time is a consideration, they can even be performed while watching TV, for instance. 

 

In the third trimester there is an interesting tweak to the yoga regime with the introduction of some twisting exercise that focuses on the shoulders and back, relieving pressure from your abdomen. Thus, Celebrity Fitness’ yoga experts suggest performing the Cat-Cow pose, good for stretching the back torso and neck. During delivery, posture is very important for a smooth delivery and yoga poses such as Standing Forward Bend (with chair for modification) will help to strengthen the back and stretch the front torso while improving posture. 

Just as there are beneficial yoga poses, there are also those to be avoided. Mums-to-be are advised not to do any asanas on your back as this can reduce blood flow to the uterus and eventually lead to dizziness. Pregnant women must also avoid the high-energy sequences such as intense vinyasa series and Sun Salutations with jump-backs. Further to that, backbends are not encouraged because this will overstretch the abdominal muscles. 

At the end of the day, the crucial part of labour and delivery is that mums-to-be must find her ways to relax. To sum up, Celebrity Fitness’ yoga experts have provided advice as follows:- 

  • Practise yoga poses with few modifications.As yoga exercises can help to build strength and encourage flexibility, you may need some props to support and assist you. 
  • Avoid inversions, closed twists and backbends. Mums-to-be should never take risks to do any yoga exercise that might compress the uterus and overstretch the abdominal muscles. 
  • Encourage a long relaxation after class.After workouts, it is a perfect time for pregnant women to relax and focus on breathing while maintaining peaceful thoughts in their minds. 

By incorporating the good and right yoga poses in the daily routine, you will have a greater ease during your delivery.