There is nothing to prepare you for the news of a pregnancy. Whether you hear it from your doctor or see it on a stick, it still carries with it a lot of excitement and apprehension, not to mention changes. The entire 40 weeks your body is rapidly changing in anticipation of bringing a tiny human into the world. That’s why it’s more important than ever to incorporate healthy lifestyle choices.
We’ve all heard prenatal yoga is a healthy practice that’s great to adopt during pregnancy, but you may wonder if it’s a good fit for you. Read on for three important ways prenatal yoga can benefit you and your baby.
Your Body Gets More Support
During pregnancy your body experiences an accelerated pace of change and prenatal yoga is designed to support you every step of the way. Every posture and breathing technique is modified to help support you and your baby throughout these important months. A prenatal practice offers you a healthy, safe way to strengthen your muscles, increase your flexibility, and ways to decrease pregnancy discomfort. According to Mayo Clinic, research has found that prenatal yoga increases strength, flexibility and endurance for muscles needed for childbirth while also decreasing lower back pain, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, headaches and shortness of breath. This will help you through these rapid changes and will ease the process by supporting your growing belly.
Prenatal Yoga Decreases Stress Hormones
A study published in the journal Depression and Anxiety shows that women who attended prenatal yoga class once a week for eight weeks had decreased anxiety scores. A single session of yoga was found to reduce self-reported anxiety by one third and stress hormone levels by 14%. Even though our bodies are equipped to handle changes, this study is incredibly reassuring because excess stress can actually do harm to you and your baby.
You and Your Baby’s Brain Will Benefit
As John Medina, New York Times bestselling author and molecular biologist, explains in his groundbreaking book “Brain Rules for Baby”, an overabundance of cortisol targets a baby’s developing neurons, interfering with proper brain development. Medina recommends removing as much stress as possible for you and for baby during pregnancy.
Though there are many ways to reduce stress in your life. Medina suggests at least 30 minutes of exercise each day will help. Prenatal yoga is a known stress-reducer, good for keeping glucocorticoids away from baby’s vulnerable neurons (and yours too), and it produces lots of brain-friendly chemicals and reduces the risk of clinical depression and anxiety disorders.
OB/GYN Humberto De Los Santos, MD, recommends prenatal yoga as a safe option during pregnancy. He tells his patients, “pregnancy should not be a state of confinement, and pregnant women with uncomplicated pregnancies should be encouraged to continue and engage in physical activities.”
Are You Looking For a Prenatal Yoga Class Now…Look No Further
The Unique Footprints Pregnancy Program is a fully guided pregnancy and new mom program that’s more than a book, class or event. This course teaches you all those skills you didn’t even know you needed. You’ll have the chance to find strength in motherhood at your own pace, all from the comfort of your home. You’ll learn how to relieve your pregnancy discomforts, prepare for birth, improve the health of both you and your baby and have a smooth, positive transition into motherhood. Includes a pregnancy food guide, prenatal yoga (video-based), prenatal psychology (audio-based) to de-stress, tranquility tools, childbirth education with a customizable birth planning tool, newborn care, postpartum tips, online community of moms with access to the Unique Footprints experts, and weekly support groups. Members can select custom mini courses to tailor their experience such a how to push a baby out: what to do and when in labor, breathing for birth, newborn care, infant safety, infant sleep from birth to 3+ years, how to prevent plagiocephaly (flat head), breastfeeding, pumping, etc.
We hope to see you on the mat! Namaste
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Unique Footprints Authors:
Jenny Morrow, RN, IBCLC, LCCE, RYT
Jenny is a born and raised Texan who loves the feel of a book in her hands, an unshakable optimistic and refuels by time in nature. She’s a mom, neonatal nurse and founder of Unique Footprints (a fully realized, 100% digital pregnant and new mom resource). She created her company in the delivery room – literally! As a nurse assisting with deliveries and postpartum care, she directly witnessed families who did not feel prepared and were shocked through the transition into parenthood, and she knew there was a better way. Jenny has taught over 10,000 expecting families how to prepare for this time in their lives. You can learn more about Jenny here.