So as you probably now know my husband, Chas and I are expecting our first child in December. It was been a crazy ride so far, but as I head into my 2nd trimester it is wonderful to start feeling better and more like myself.
I would say that I am a very active person. I enjoy running and doing yoga. I am sure you can tell from my blog that I enjoy being active and can not sit still for too long. With the start of this pregnancy I really struggled with feeling exhausted, nauseated a lot of the time and just lacking that normal vigor for life that I possess. Now I feel like I have come through that and am on the other side. I am starting to feel better and more like my normal self again.
I have been getting back to running, which has been fantastic and I have made the commitment that I want to regularly attend prenatal yoga classes. For all of you who are pregnant, this definitely pertains to you! I am a strong believer in balance of one's self physically. I think that yoga really helps to accomplish that. You should never do just one type of activity or motion repeatedly so added variety and balance to our routine is important. I know I can tell a huge difference in my own body's alignment when I sit a desk all day or on the coach. I can feel it in my back and doing yoga helps to stretch and strengthen my body.
So maybe you are pregnant and we have never done yoga or you aren't conceived this could be something that could help you.
- Your body needs and gets more support - With pregnancy your body changes A LOT. Even in ways that you can't see. Your body releases a hormone, called relaxin and this makes your ligaments more stretchy. It is help with labor in the future, but this hormone is released early in pregnancy (~10 weeks). This can cause some pain or movement into joints. Your body requires more support now with pregnancy and doing exercises that promote balance and support will be helpful. Learning safe ways to stretch, strengthen and support your body will be helpful as your body continues to change over the next 9 months to support your growing baby.
- Strengthening important muscle groups - Prenatal yoga helps to strengthen your pelvic floor, hips and abdominal muscles which will be stretched and pulled in the labor process. The key to keep these muscle group toned - meaning a proper balance between the length/strength of the muscle. This will help with supporting your growing baby, laboring for multiple hours and for recovery afterwards.
- Better prepared for labor and delivery - Yoga teaches mindfulness, proper breathing and a sense of relaxing. This is helpful in the labor process, because we all want to tense up, be slightly afraid and this will make labor more difficult. Using techniques learned in yoga to do cleansing breathes and to stay calm will help with the flow and even the duration of labor.
- Connectedness with your baby - Taking the time out of your busy schedule for yourself and your baby helps with feeling connected to this little one growing inside of you. This is also a place to meet other mothers and have a sense of camaraderie with those in class with you. During the class there is lots of mindfulness towards your baby and taking a moment to think about them.
- Healthier overall pregnancy - Research is showing that mothers do practice yoga tend to have less preterm infants and have a lower chance of having a low birth weight infant. Yoga counts as a form of physical activity and we know that maintaining your physical fitness during your pregnancy leads to better outcomes for yourself and your child.
Hopefully some of these benefits to doing prenatal yoga have started you thinking about maybe joining a class in your local area and becoming more physically fit. I know that participating in prenatal yoga classes (that last over an hour) helps to calm me down after a stressful day, my whole body feels better and I have a much more positive outlook on life.