Prenatal Yoga: Common Questions & Alleviating Concerns
For many expecting moms the thought of engaging in exercise during pregnancy can be worrisome. That’s why I’m going to focus on answering common questions I hear about participating in pre-natal yoga. I’ll also provide some helpful hints on how to best alleviate any concerns that may arise. Let’s dig in…
“I’ve heard mixed messages about working out during pregnancy…are there any negative effects that participating in prenatal yoga will have on my baby or me?”
- As discussed in my last post, with the exception to at risk patients, prenatal exercise is usually encouraged. Remember that every woman is different, however, so each pregnancy varies. Always speak with your PCP and OBGYN before participating in any exercise during pregnancy.
- If yoga is a new activity that you’re not used to, erring on the side of caution and simply listening to your body is a great guide to go by. Once accustomed to yoga, many expecting moms continue practicing after the baby arrives because of the mental and physical benefits it provides.
- Try to be discerning with whom and where you’re receiving your information on prenatal best practices. Keep in mind the most reliable sources are based on research. Conversations with your physician are always the best way to ensure you’re doing what’s best for you and your baby throughout your pregnancy.
“How do I minimize the amount of nausea and lightheadedness that I experience during a yoga practice?”
- Water and snacks are a pregnant gal’s best friends. This holds true in the yoga studiio too! Remember to always bring water with you to class, as well as quick snacks, like fruit, trail mix or a granola bar. Also having several small meals throughout the day can help decrease nauseous and dizziness.
- Be mindful that your blood pressure may be lower during certain points of your pregnancy, such as your second trimester. Low blood pressure may cause you to feel light headed. Simply take a break and recover in “child’s pose” as needed; slow breaths will help calm down your body and center your mind.
- Wear cool, breathable clothing to minimize overheating and stay hydrated. Do not participate in “hot” yoga, as high temperatures may lead to increased nausea and dizziness.
“What other ‘pregnancy things’ should I be aware of during prenatal yoga practice?”
- During pregnancy, your body releases a hormone called relaxin, which works to relax your muscles, joints, and ligaments in preparation for delivery. As a result you may feel a bit more limber than you actually are, putting you at risk for over stretching. Be cognizant of this and proceed slowly throughout your practices.
- Be aware of the additional weight, wear and tear that your growing baby bump is already causing when you engage in any workout.
- Know that balance, agility, concentration, in addition to the physical challenges are just some of the many aspects that differ in a pregnant body vs. a pre-baby body. I can’t stress enough the importance of being patient and allowing you to take each day one at a time.
I hope you found this information helpful! If you have additional questions feel free to post in the comments below. In my next, and final post, I’ll be discussing some common poses you’ll likely experience during class and their helpful mommy-to-be modifications!
About Nicole: As a busy mom raising two children in Boston, Nicole was inspired a few years ago to create a resource to help other parents with urban upbringing. Her background in education, writing and health and wellness has allowed her to pursue the things she loves, while spending her days with her little ones. Visit her blog: Boston Babies – Your Guide to an Urban Upbringing.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Consult your doctor before starting any physical fitness program. Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ViaCord, LLC or its parent company, PerkinElmer.