Yoga – Prenatal & Postpartum

How many times do you hear “healthy mama, healthy baby” after you find out you are pregnant? Usually, you start hearing this your first trimester when you are feeling less than healthy, and have a whole host of emotions, physical changes, hormonal ups and downs, and nausea.

Once you start feeling better, and feel like tackling a new activity (or maintain a current one), yoga is a great way to remain active, learn relaxation techniques, strengthen core muscle groups, and connect with other moms in your area.

Research on prenatal yoga has shown that it can improve birth weights and decreases complications during labor. In addition, benefits of prenatal yoga can include:

Improved sleep (get it while you can, because odds are you won’t get sound sleep once the baby comes.)

Reduced stress and anxiety

Decrease in common pregnancy ailments/strains (including tightness of muscles/ligaments)

Increased strength and flexibility of pelvic floor muscles, hips, and core (all of which are used during the birthing process)

Increased body awareness; fostering faith in your body (and possibly the birth process).

Increased connection to your baby (through increasing your awareness during your yoga practice)

Develop breathing/relaxation techniques you can use during labor and delivery (or any stressful situation)

When practicing yoga prenatally, always make your instructor aware of how far along you are. It may be beneficial to go to a prenatal yoga class. Your instructor will be prepared to modify any poses, refrain from certain poses, and it’s a great place to meet other pregnant women in your area. Prenatal Yoga on the East End of Long Island.

Postpartum/Postnatal yoga has similar benefits to prenatal yoga. It can increase the strength of your pelvic floor muscles, give you endurance (bet you don’t have much with a newborn demanding more of you), space to learn and appreciate your new maternal body, relaxation/breathing techniques for dealing with stressful situations (I’m sure you’ve had a handful of those during your first weeks postpartum already), and the license to slow down and recharge yourself.  Research is proving that postpartum yoga (and other mindfulness training) can help manage postpartum mood disorders/depression.

Practice postpartum yoga after you have been cleared by your birth professional to do so, and make your instructor aware that you are postpartum. Again, there may be poses to be modified or refrained from. Postpartum Yoga on the East End of Long Island.

Take the time to breathe, be more mindful, and be connected.

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