Your doctor and midwife recommended it. Your pregnancy app recommended it, too. Prenatal Yoga is the go-to form of exercise in pregnancy. It has so many benefits! Prenatal Yoga is truly important to stay healthy and strong beyond pregnancy. Here are some of the reasons why:
It decreases your risk of preterm labor and other complications
Studies have shown that high stress levels can increase miscarriage and preterm birth rates. Practicing yoga (movement, breathwork and meditation and mindfulness exercises) reduces stress levels and decreases chances of developing pregnancy-reduced hypertension.
It lowers your blood pressure
Science has also shown that heart rate and blood pressure lowers after doing prenatal yoga, more than if you just go for a walk.
It decreases chances of depression in pregnancy and postpartum
Yoga is a great tool to keep you sane, whether pregnant or not 😉
Another study showed that integrative yoga (movement-based yoga combined with meditation, deep relaxation and breathing exercises) significantly decreased levels of depression in pregnant moms.
It will empower your birth experience
After practicing all the breathing exercises and tips that you learn in your prenatal yoga class, you’ll be able to intuitively use them when in labor and birth. Prenatal yoga also strengthens and lengthens muscles that are key for birth and postpartum recovery (i.e. pelvic floor, core and spinal muscles). In fact, a small study found that pregnant mamas who participated in a yoga routine involving just six sessions before birth spent less time overall in labor than those who didn’t. They also reported feeling less pain and more comfortable during and immediately after labor.
So there you have it. There is no excuse to not integrate prenatal yoga, or yoga in general into your life. Prenatal yoga is important for you and your baby's wellbeing.
To give you a sneak peak into what prenatal yoga looks and feels like, here is my go-to prenatal yoga class, free for your to practice at the comfort of your home. I practiced this myself quite often when I was pregnant. Like it if it made you feel good :)
If you want to take your preparation for birth and postpartum to the next level, check out my free pregnancy and postpartum yoga foundations mini-course. It will help you get the best of your yoga and exercise practice.
· Infant Behavior and Development, Prenatal Exercise Research, June 2012.
· March of Dimes, Stress and Pregnancy, October 2019.
· BMC Psychiatry, Yoga for Prenatal Depression, February 2015.
· Complimentary Theories in Clinical Practice, Yoga During Pregnancy, May 2008.