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Yoga for Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth and Baby

Posted on February 28th, 2013 by | 3 views

Being in the Moment with Yoga

Yoga is more than just a way of stretching… it is a philosophy, a life-science that incorporates mind, body, and breath. It is a way of being and living in the moment, so that each moment can be experienced fully and lived to its highest potential.

Not so sure Yoga is for you? Consider this: Studies show that Yoga can decrease blood pressure, increase white blood cell count and immunity, and it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. Studies on prenatal Yoga specifically indicate an improvement in birth weight, decreased incidence of preterm labor, an improved adaptive response to stress, decreased back pain, nausea, perception of pain, stress, and anxiety, as well as less labor pain and shorter labor times.

Yoga for Fertility, Pregnancy, Birth and Baby

Yoga is not only great for women who are pregnant, it is also a wonderful way to enhance fertility for those who are trying to get pregnant. The diaphragmatic breath practiced in Yoga increases the blood flow to the ovaries, eggs, pelvic girdle, and the uterus. It constantly stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, leading to an increased relaxation response and lower levels of stress, which is a major contributor to infertility and hormonal issues. Yoga can teach women who are dealing with fertility issues how to be more at peace with themselves and how to let go of the stresses and fears that may be preventing them from becoming and staying pregnant.

The physical postures in Yoga work to create optimal alignment throughout the body and to increase flexibility and strength during pregnancy and in preparation for birth. Not only does Yoga help a pregnant mother cope with her growing and changing body, it can also help prevent injuries from occurring and decrease pains that can naturally occur due to the structural changes she experiences while pregnant. By practicing all aspects of Yoga, a mother can be better prepared for the birthing process. Even certain Yoga postures and poses can assist in optimal positioning of the baby, which is essential to an easier, faster, and less painful birth.

The stress reducing nature of Yoga is beneficial to any pregnant woman and her baby. Studies on the negative effects of stress on a growing and developing fetus continue to evolve, increasing the importance of mastering relaxation techniques and stress coping mechanisms. Even after birth, a baby can be affected by the stress its mother experiences. Practicing diaphragmatic breathing right after birth can be a great way to enhance relaxation and therefore create a more peaceful environment for the bonding experience between mother and baby. Because it also increases circulation, diaphragmatic breathing can assist in and speed the healing processes after birth, re-strengthen the abdominal core, and improve muscle tone. All in all, Yoga works as a coping mechanism by helping a new mother physically to get her body back into shape, mentally to stay in the moment and deal with stress, and emotionally to connect with her baby and feel peace within herself.

Pre-Natal Yoga versus Other Forms of Yoga

It is very important to seek out an experienced Pre-Natal Yoga instructor when pregnant. There are several postures that must be avoided during pregnancy. Even certain types of breathing should be avoided. Pre-Natal Yoga classes focus not only on the right exercises, tempo, and breath, but also on connecting with your baby and providing tips for birth.

Find a Pre-Natal Yoga Instructor For You

Yoga is a very safe and effective form of exercise, which can be started even after becoming pregnant. To find a Yoga instructor who is specially trained in the areas of pregnancy, birthing, and post-partum strengthening and healing, visit our Directory of Yoga Instructors.

 

The information on this page was provided by Michelle Alva, a pre- and post-natal and fertility Yoga instructor, pediatric and pre-natal physical therapist, and Belly Dance Instructor. 

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