When you are pregnant everyone has an opinion and an important skill to learn early on in the pregnancy is to be able to listen to these opinions, comment politely and then make up your own mind.
There are as many different ways of having and raising children as there are children, and once your child is born you need to do what works for you and your family, not what worked for someone else.
This doesn’t mean you should ignore advice that is given to you. Usually, it will be being dished out by women who have been there and done this before, and knowing what works for others is often a good indicator of what may work for you.
The way to prepare mentally and physically for labor is to practice yoga every day
Ultimately however the decision is going to be up to you, and so you will learn to collate the collective advise and filter the wisdom from the opinion.
One of the pieces that you will find almost universally recommended by those who have tried it is Pre Natal yoga, but a lot of women get nervous about the idea of starting an exercise program when their bodies are going through so many changes.
This article deals with some of the most common questions that will be asked about Pre-natal Yoga.
Question One: Why Should I Do Yoga While I Am Pregnant?
There are numerous benefits of Yoga for pregnant women, physical, mental and also spiritual. In a nutshell, Pre-Natal Yoga is designed to give you a toolbox of techniques and methods for dealing with your pregnancy, your labor and even the stressful times of the first few days, weeks and months after the birth.
People who complete Prenatal Yoga are better equipped to deal with the babies delivery itself as well as the recovery period after birth.
Question Two: Is It Safe To Learn Yoga During Pregnancy?
It is perfectly safe to start Yoga during your pregnancy provided you begin your class with a qualified Prenatal Yoga teacher.
Prenatal Yoga is specifically designed for pregnancy because there are exercises and techniques in a regular Yoga session that are not appropriate for pregnant women.
It’s also recommended to wait until after the first trimester is complete before you commence a Yoga class as this first trimester is a time for babies to grow and develop, whereas later they will be increasing with size in preparation for the birth and the mother needs to take advantage of the opportunity Yoga presents to ease this process.
Talk to your instructor about your pregnancy before the class begins so you can be sure that they understand anything unique to your pregnancy that may require exercises to be modified (for instance women carrying twins are encouraged not to do squatting exercises).
Question Three: How Will Yoga Benefit Me Physically?
Yoga is a discipline which is designed to regulate the blood flow and breathing as well as strengthen the body in general. All of these factor in the benefits to pregnant women.
Blood flow is, of course, critical in ensuring that your body is getting all the nutrients and oxygen to all the organs that need it.
It’s possible for the baby to get greedy and hog these resources, or the opposite could happen and the baby is deprived of what is needed to grow.
The increased strength will help deal with the delivery by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.
This can potentially shorten the duration of labor and it will definitely decrease the time it takes for the vaginal passage to recover from birth.
There is even strong evidence that the increased blood flow to the skin will assist in avoiding and/or recovering from stretch marks.
Don’t overdo it. Pay attention to your body and how you feel. Start slow and avoid positions that are beyond your level of experience or comfort. Stretch only as far as you would have before pregnancy
Question Four: Should I keep doing Yoga after Birth?
Why not? You will keep getting all the benefits discussed above and more. You will probably want to go to at least one standard yoga class, as these can be quite different than the prenatal Yoga.
Of course, life can be quite hectic with a new baby so the opportunities to attend formal classes are probably going to be few and far between.
You’ll be encouraged to focus on breathing in and out slowly and deeply through the nose. Prenatal yoga breathing techniques can help you to manage shortness of breath during pregnancy and work through contractions during labor.
You’ll be encouraged to gently move different areas of your body, such as your neck and arms, through their full range of motion.
Luckily one of the biggest benefits of Yoga as an exercise regime is that it doesn’t require specialized equipment, so it’s possible to do in the comfort of your own home during those few precious moments when your baby is asleep.