If you are pregnant and looking for an exercise program that will help relieve stress, promote a restful night's sleep, and soothe sore joints and muscles, prenatal yoga may be just what you need. Prenatal yoga combines postures that are safe for pregnancy and has also been shown to help improve the health of an expectant mother and her baby.
Prenatal yoga includes postures that reduce the discomforts of pregnancy while preparing you for an efficient labor that is less painful. It is a simple, low-impact form of exercise that may be practiced in the comfort and privacy of your own home. There are many reasons why you should consider using prenatal yoga as part of your pregnancy exercise regimen.
For Stress Relief
Pregnant women are physiologically more sensitive to stress. Unfortunately, stress is unhealthy for both you and your developing baby. Exercise has been shown to be an effective stress-reliever for anyone, especially pregnant women. Yoga always focuses on breathing, which naturally helps your body to relax. The resting, meditative pose that ends a yoga session is an added, tension-reducing bonus.
For a Better Night's Sleep
Prenatal yoga may prove to be a tremendous help if you find that you're waking up several times during the night. Women who begin practicing yoga in their second trimester have been found to experience fewer awakenings during the night. Researchers have also determined that melatonin levels increase after three months of yoga practice. Melatonin helps balance sleep cycles while enhancing feelings of well-being.
To Benefit the Health of Your Baby
You know that it is important to focus on a healthy diet while pregnant, but did you know that exercise can also contribute to a healthier baby? Exercise during pregnancy has been shown to actually help improve the heart health of a developing fetus. Researchers from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences found that regular exercise, including prenatal yoga, resulted in healthier heart rates. Prenatal yoga has also been found to contribute to a healthy birth weight.
To Reduce the Aches and Pains of Pregnancy and Labor
Achy joints and muscles come with the territory. Pregnancy hormones and weight put a lot of strain on your body. The journal Midwifery published a study that focused on prenatal yoga as a method of pain relief. Women who participated in a prenatal yoga program reported fewer complaints of pain than those who did not participate. The yoga participants also seemed to have less pain during labor along with a more efficient delivery.
You Can Practice Prenatal Yoga at Home
Let's face it: finding the energy to get going, especially while in your third trimester, can be difficult. You're exhausted, uncomfortable, and getting a little tired of the routine list of questions from strangers on the street. Fortunately, there are many popular prenatal yoga DVDs that you may purchase or rent. There are also many streaming videos online.
Prenatal yoga is a great way to relieve stress, improve your quality of sleep, and ease your aches and pains. It may also be helpful in preparing you for labor while improving the health of your baby. Try prenatal yoga for an effective and enjoyable exercise during pregnancy.