Staying in shape while pregnant can prove highly challenging – particularly because the exhaustion that commonly accompanies the growing of a child paired with the aches and pains associated with carrying this temporary passenger make even the most requisite of movements difficult.
Even if the thought of hitting the gym makes you almost as ill as your morning sickness, you should consider getting in some low-impact exercise. One ideal exercise option for moms to be is yoga. Practicing prenatal yoga – or yoga while pregnant – offers many benefits to both mom and baby.
1. Stamina Development
Before you get to hold your beautiful baby in your arms, you face the most demanding task you may ever endeavor – labor. As you engage in yoga you maintain – or at times even develop – your muscles. These muscles will come in handy when the big day arrives and will aide you in more rapidly and easily brining baby into the world.
2. Improved Balance
As your belly grows to accommodate the ever-gaining bundle you carry, you will likely find your balance diminishing. This is not only frustrating, it can also prove dangerous as tumbles while pregnant can leave both Mom and baby at risk of injury. The practice of yoga forces you to think about how you balance and enhance your awareness of your ever-changing body, making it easier for you to stay coordinated throughout the pregnancy.
3. Tension Reduction
There is a reason moms-to-be are constantly hounding their partners for a foot rub or a back massage – aside from for the sheer fact that these men who contributed to your discomfort are all but contractually obligated to help ease it. Women crave these things during pregnancy because being pregnant comes with lots of aches and pains. When you engage in yoga, you stretch your muscles. This can help relieve tension and make those aches and pains a bit less severe.
4. Circulation Improvement
As your body goes though the changes that accompany pregnancy, one thing that suffers is your circulation. All of the extra pressure and swelling that accompanies a pregnancy can make it more difficult for your body to effectively circulate blood. Yoga counteracts this. When you stretch your joints and extend your body as you do in yoga, you naturally enhance your circulation.
5. Breath Control
As anyone who has even the most tangential connection to labor knows, breathing in a controlled and rhythmic fashion an help immensely when it’s time to welcome baby. Breathing in this manner is also important in properly practicing yoga. As you work to develop the breathing skills necessary to successfully perform yoga, you are building the skills you will use when it’s time for baby to arrive.
6. Enforced You Time
Many moms to be are constantly on the go. It can be difficult for these women, who were likely ever-busy pre-pregnancy, to slow down and really relax – which is vital for the overall health of mother and child. By creating a sticking to a schedule of yoga, you can force yourself to take regular breaks for your rigorous day, which will benefit both you and baby.
7. Mommy-Baby Connection
Unlike more strenuous exercises, when you engage in yoga you have ample time to calm down and connect with the world around you. When you’re pregnant, this also means providing the opportunity to connect with your growing babe. As you focus on breathing and stretching and clearing your mind, you will develop an enhanced awareness of what’s going on in your body and likely start to feel more connected to your tyke-to-be.
8. Community Building
Particularly for first-time moms, being pregnant can be pretty freakin’ scary. When you engage in prenatal yoga as part of a class, you have the opportunity to connect with others who are in your position. For many women, this opportunity to really connect and form sisterly bonds can make pregnancy easier overall.