Updated: Jan 28, 2019
Prenatal yoga is an amazing way to maintain a healthy mind and body during pregnancy. Its main benefits are the development of strength and flexibility as well as support in learning proper breathing and relaxation techniques, which can be used throughout pregnancy and during labour.
Keep on reading to see the benefits of practicing #yoga while expecting during each of the trimesters and for a candid interview with our very own Georgie Donk who has just given birth to her first child.
It's not recommended to start a yoga practice until after your first ultrasound scan at 12-14 weeks. Please wait for confirmation from your GP before starting your practice.
* Yoga can help expectant mothers to rest, relax and slow down during pregnancy. Building strength, flexibility and develop elasticity in a woman’s pelvic floor to aid the labour process
* Deep relaxation helps stabilise hormonal fluctuations and mood swings
* Pranayama (breathing) exercises can help women to begin to connect and work with their breath to expand their capacity and awareness
* Regularly attending a prenatal yoga class can help women to find support with other expecting mums
* Yoga helps women to connect with their babies through breathing, sound, touch, thought and intention
* Yoga continues to help expectant mothers to cope with any anxieties they may be experiencing about their pregnancy, labour and all changes ahead by clearing the mind and bringing a sense of grounding to the day-to-day
* Yoga becomes more important now to help with lower back pain and other strains by the changes in the body, the practice may become slower and more focussed on relaxation
* Yoga teaches deep relaxation techniques which can be very useful during labour
* Breathing and sound techniques can also be very valuable during labour
* Learning birthing postures while in class can help expectant mothers to feel more empowered about their delivery process
* Positive mantras and mindset can help to reduce any anxieties around labour and help keep focus
* Yoga can help encourage the baby into the ideal birth position
Q&A "Hey Georgie! You've been a constant presence in the yoga studio since you got the all clear to start practicing. How did you find your yoga practice changed from before/after pregnancy?" "Before pregnancy, I was looking to constantly improve my practice and pushed myself in every session, however once I became pregnant, to me yoga became much more about staying strong and looking after my body." "What benefits did you feel from regular practice?" "Yoga helped me to stay mobile and healthy throughout my entire pregnancy. I was able to continue practicing right up to my due date. I felt great the whole way through and I genuinely think the reason for that was yoga!"
"How would you describe a pre-natal yoga class to someone that hasn't been before? What can they expect?" "Pre-natal yoga is much more relaxed than normal yoga and is very focused on strengthening your body to prepare for labour and including your baby in every practice. It is an hour out of your day where you really get to focus on your body and your baby." "You also maintained your regular workout routine throughout pregnancy, how did you have to adapt that?" "At the start I was able to keep my workout routine almost the same as long as I wasn’t getting too out of breath, however as the weeks went on, I found that I had to slow down my workouts and drop the weights I was using until I just used body weight. I listened to my body and adjusted every workout to how I was feeling that day."
"Congratulations again on the birth of baby Noah! Do you think your time in the studio contributed to your labour process in anyway?" "Absolutely!! Labour is an extremely difficult thing to go through, however from the Yoga and exercise I continued to do throughout my pregnancy, I was able to go into it with a good level of fitness and an extremely strong mentality and that’s what got me through. If I could give any pregnant lady a piece of advice, it would be to do yoga and stay active as much as possible throughout pregnancy. It enabled me to have a brilliant pregnancy, a great labour and a very quick recovery once the baby was born!" "Thank you so much for your time Georgie! We can't wait to welcome you back to the studio soon. x"