Yoga during pregnancy (prenatal yoga) is a yoga program specifically for pregnancy with techniques and intensities adapted to the physical and psychological needs of pregnant women and fetuses. This program emphasizes the techniques of yoga posture, breathing, relaxation, visualization techniques and use meditation as a self-help media. This program will provide comfort, tranquility and strengthen themselves during the pregnancy. In other words, it will help prepare prospective mothers physically, mentally, and spiritually to deal with labor.
Why is Yoga recommended for pregnant women?
As we know, exercising during pregnancy turns out to be able to help the labor process. Prenatal yoga is yoga for pregnancies adapted to the physical condition of pregnant women and carried out with a softer and slower intensity. It may be joined by pregnant women after four months of pregnancy or entering the second trimester of pregnancy.
Tips before having prenatal yoga
- Used comfortable clothes for yoga
- Drink enough water before, during and after doing prenatal yoga. This aims to avoid lack of fluids
- Consult your doctor first before you decide to do this exercise, especially if at the beginning of the trimester of pregnancy you experience certain problems.
- Stop exercise if the mother feels pain, dizziness or cramps
- Take prenatal yoga classes with experts
- Avoid movements or poses that stretch too much the muscles, especially in the abdominal area
Here are the benefits of practicing yoga during pregnancy. They are:
- Helps the body to stay healthy, strong and active
During pregnancy, the body experiences quite drastic changes physically, hormonally and emotionally. Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, relaxin, and oxytocin increase sharply. Practicing prenatal yoga can help mothers to be able to adopt consistently to changes in the body. For 9 months, the lower body area will carry a heavier growth baby. Many yoga movements will help stay healthy and strong.
- Learn better breathing techniques
Why is breathing technique very important when pregnant? Practicing breathing techniques will have a good effect on the physical but also on the mentality of the mother. During pregnancy, frequent hormonal changes that occur not only affect the mother physically but also make emotions or mood swing.
If the mother can breathe better, this can help control emotions during pregnancy. With prenatal yoga, practicing breathing techniques will also improve the quality of your breath and maximize the oxygen intake you share with the baby during pregnancy. Not only that good breathing will help the mother reduce or control pain during the contraction process during labor.
- Helps improve body balance and reduce back pain
A common problem that often occurs in pregnant women is usually the loss of body balance and the growth of the baby in the womb. This also often results in prolonged back pain. Prenatal yoga movements and poses will help the body’s circulation, exercise body balance, and help stretch the mother’s waist muscles.
- Train yourself and prepare the hip area for childbirth
Many movements or poses in prenatal yoga are intended to help prepare the muscles in the hip area to be more flexible and flexible for labor. Some postures such as squats or squats are usually trained repeatedly to help open the pelvis and pelvic area.
Not only physical exercise but often there is also a combination of psychological preparation, such as practicing how to combine breath with movement and control pain during the contraction process.
- Helps relaxation and train yourself to rest more easily
During pregnancy, mothers usually tend to feel restless all the time. Intuition as a prospective mother makes you unable to stop thinking about your baby’s development, preparation for childbirth, or even as easy as choosing nutritious foods. This feeling of anxiety can cause trouble sleeping. Not only anxiety, when entering the third trimester of pregnancy, the difficulty of choosing a sleeping position can also be the main cause of insomnia coming. Practicing prenatal yoga regularly can help calm and relax more especially when anxiety suddenly arises. Mothers can also dispel insomnia by practicing a relaxation or savasana movement. This is usually trained at the end of a yoga class while listening to the usual music played in yoga classes
- Establish the deeper bonds with baby
When practicing prenatal yoga, there are lots of movements that make the baby feel comfortable. Often the instructor teaches how to communicate with the baby. This makes you feel more comfortable while practicing and makes you more accustomed to communicating with your baby.
- Interacts with other pregnant women
Coming to a yoga class and practicing prenatal yoga can be used as a venue for socialization with other pregnant women. Not only exchanging information about body changes, but you can also exchange information about hospitals, obstetricians, and even the types of baby products. You can create groups and continue by meeting routine outside the classroom. Stay healthy and active while adding new friends.
The Importance of Respiratory Exercise
Taking a deep breath (in a regular rhythm) will be beneficial for the body. This makes the body feel more relaxed and relaxes the tensed muscles of the body. Another benefit that will be obtained from training breathing is to get enough oxygen supply. The fetus can feel calm as what is felt by the mother. One of the breathing techniques in yoga is Ujayyi. In this technique, you take the breath through the nose slowly, until the lungs are filled with air and then exhaled slowly until the stomach deflates. Do this process continuously. Relaxing breathing will help the mother to remain relaxed, especially during the birthing process.
But before doing yoga or other exercises, pay attention to some tips below.
- Consult your obstetrician/midwife: tell about your intention to practice prenatal yoga (if you have a problem with a pregnancy in the past, or if you have back problems or a heart condition, your doctor may not recommend you continue yoga).
- Be realistic in your goals: many mothers get upset and have to give up, they feel this is hard training during pregnancy. If you cannot do yoga, try to take a walk. Even swimming is an activity that can be done.
- For getting maximum advantages, combine hypnobirthing meditation/relaxation and yoga: do not push yourself to the point where you have difficulty with the pose or if you feel sick or uncomfortable. Further, maintain your body temperature by avoiding too much exertion and staying hydrated. If you feel something is wrong, or if you don’t feel able to do it.
Yoga contraindications in pregnancy:
- Placenta Previa (placenta covers the birth canal)
- Incompetent Cervix (a condition in which the cervix experiences premature opening and thinning)
- History of recurrent bleeding/miscarriage in a previous pregnancy