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Pregnancy & Yoga - Is It Really Effective?

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, PGD Ultrasonography
Gynaecologist, Ghaziabad  •  11 years experience
Pregnancy & Yoga - Is It Really Effective?

Yoga is a group of mental, spiritual, and physical disciplines or practices which initiated in ancient India. Yoga uses exercise, meditation, body positions (called postures), and breathing techniques. It helps in improving health and focuses on physical and mental well-being. It helps by improving the parasympathetic nervous activity (important for bodily purposes when at rest).

Yoga in pregnancy is a pronounced way to stay healthy and active for the mother and the baby. Yoga classes in pregnancy include breathing techniques with postures that are best fitted for pregnancy. Yoga has been adapted to help women stay undisturbed during pregnancy, ease labor pain, and lessen anxiety. Many breathing techniques used in yoga can help women to be prepared for giving birth. If a woman uses these breathing techniques at the time of labour, it will help to stay calm through contractions.

Practicing yoga operates the parasympathetic nervous system throughout the third trimester of pregnancy, relaxed sleep throughout the night, and reducing the levels of chemicals responsible for building up stress.

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga -

There are many benefits of prenatal yoga. It lessens the risk of preterm labor and leads to decreased nausea, decreased headaches, reduced stress, improved sleep, and decreased lower back pain. Moreover, it increases flexibility, strength, and endurance. Also, it leads to a decreased carpal tunnel syndrome (a condition that originates numbness and pain in the arm and hand) and lowers the possibility of intrauterine growth restriction (a state that slows the growth of the baby). One should consult an expert before taking up yoga and exercises so that if it a sensitive or complicated pregnancy, it can be dealt with accordingly.

Yoga Poses - 

Let's know some of the yoga poses for:

1. Belly Weight -

On average, at the time of pregnancy, women gain about 30 pounds and a lot in the belly, pelvic region, and chest. To relieve the burden of this additional weight, these poses are advisable during yoga: wide seated forward fold, wide child’s pose, and cat-cow.

2. Back Discomfort -

At the time of pregnancy, back pain is very common. To relieve back tension, the helpful poses include standing forward fold, seated side bend, and ankle to knee pose.

3. Hip Pain and Tension -

At the time of pregnancy, the body delivers extra relaxin, which loosens and softens the pelvic area and hip as women move into the second and third trimesters. Some poses that might aid in relaxing this area include low runner’s lunge with a twist, yoga squat, and seated figure four.

4. Swollen Feet -

These yoga postures help to bring some relief to swollen feet, ankles, and legs and include toes pose and legs-up-the-wall pose.

5. Heartburn and Indigestion -

There are two poses that can help relieve heartburn and improve digestion: bound angle pose and triangle pose.

Take Away -

Yoga is a great way to exercise and to keep at bay the physical and psychological issues associated with pregnancy. One should start various poses on an expert’s consultation preferably.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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