Prenatal Yoga offers pregnant women impactful connection to her body and her community. The practice of creating space in her body (for herself and for baby) while connecting to her breath allows her to tune into the diaphragm and pelvic floor in ways that are incredibly helpful.
We see a pattern of really tight hip flexors from frequent sitting and if mom isn’t actively participating in a practice that lengthens her psoas muscles and hip flexors it can affect the position of her pelvis in a way that can make pregnancy and birth uncomfortable.
This thoughtful practice helps the pregnant body find balance between strength and flexibility. For birth to truly be optimal mama needs to have the ability to not only be strong but the ability to soften and relax. Because birth is about the body and the mind – being surrounded by other mothers while in this really important and beautiful season of life is so beneficial!
Prenatal yoga instructors have gone through additional yoga training, meaning they have dedicated time and expertise into understanding the pregnant body and the yoga instructor you will hear from later in this article is also certified birth doula which means she is bringing this awareness and passion of birth and pregnancy to her classes. We get so excited to send mamas in this direction because the physical benefits of prenatal yoga are incredible but what it can do to prepare our minds and our hearts for this journey is truly amazing.
Q: Why should a mama consider prenatal yoga?
- Community! I think this is my most favorite aspect of prenatal + postnatal yoga classes. We foster a safe space for connection and begin with a check-in circle. We get to know each other throughout the pregnancy and postpartum journey, relate and connect, and grow together.
- Yoga modifications – safe practices, simple do’s and don’ts to create space for baby to thrive, create stability to minimize and ease common pregnancy discomforts.
- Prepare for Birth – learn techniques and develop skills to assist in labor and birth with confidence
- Align with self – mindfulness and meditation to connect with yourself and discover truths, desires, and beliefs, and to release negative thoughts, fears, and limiting beliefs, with the ultimate goal of feeling empowered in your own unique journey and experience through pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting.
Q: When should mama start prenatal yoga?
- After you find out you are pregnant and are feeling up for it! Most commonly, people join me at the very end of the 1st trimester to beginning of the 2nd trimester. I approach every class from a beginner’s mind to make it inclusive, safe, and supportive.
Q: Do you have any helpful tips & tricks for mama?
- Do what feels right to you throughout your pregnancy – align with intuition and learn to trust your instincts.
- Envision your perfect birth. Choose the birth setting that feels the safest and most supportive to you. Choose a provider that respects your birth preferences.
- See a Webster Chiro (Dr. Kate!) to identify imbalances in the spine and pelvis and make frequent appointments throughout pregnancy to ensure optimal alignment. I also love Dr. Valerie Stroupe with Rambling Road for Chiro & Body Balancing using Myofascial release and other modalities.
- See a pelvic floor PT – even if you are not aware of any significant issues it is wonderful to assess tonicity and get some helpful techniques to balance the pelvic floor through strengthening or relaxation exercises.
- Consider getting a doula (I’m a little biased…) for your birth and/or postpartum. Arm yourself with knowledge (from everything to hospital protocols, when to go to hospital in labor, presentation of options – yes you have options!, local resources and perinatal health referrals, etc.), emotional and mental support, physical support during birth, and partner support. Helps improve birth outcomes through education, advocacy and respect.
- Take a Childbirth Education class – pick one that aligns with your values, and the type of birth you want to have. Take the class with your partner. Do some research, whether online or in person. In person is great for meeting other soon-to-be-parents and creating connections and possible new friendships.
- Read or Listen to empowering and educational birth books and podcasts. Become a sponge.
- Read, Listen, and Watch Birth Stories. Take back what birth REALLY looks like in your mind. Re-write the Hollywood highly dramatized (and sometimes scary) version of birth.
- Throw out the EDD (estimated due date) in your mind. Give yourself a “birth window” and be generous. Your body and baby are so smart and know the perfect time to be born. Having a specific date can increase anxiety, fear, and impulsivity to forego the birth experience you desire. A spontaneous birth, in the absence of medical complication, encourages a successful physiologic birth experience.
- Breathe. Relax. And Let your Body & Baby Do the Rest.
CD(DONA), RPYT, RYT-200
Birth + Postpartum Doula
Certified MaYoga® Prenatal Yoga Teacher