Why Yoga for Pregnancy?
Yoga is a wonderful practice during pregnancy. Women build strength, stamina and flexibility in the ever-changing pregnant body. But there are so many more benefits…
Yoga may be the only time in the week when a woman quiets her mind, tunes in to her body, and attends to her breath.
Yoga may be the only embodied practice a woman does in preparation for the work of birth. (See above!)
Yoga may be the only place she moves her pregnant body low to the ground, away from furniture. (Think human evolution and getting that baby into a nice position for labor.)
Yoga may be the practice that calms her nervous system in the days before labor. Why does calm waiting matter? In the days before labor starts, receptors for the powerful reproductive hormone, Oxytocin, are increasing on cells in uterus, mammary glands, and brain. Additionally, prolactin, “the mothering and milk hormone” is surging, likely causing the nesting feelings so many experience. Catecholemines are also increasing in the days before labor. They will protect the baby from strong contractions and help the baby start breathing, be alert for the early feeding and more. Stress can deregulate this all-important pre-labor work! Calm waiting helps labor and the postpartum period go well…
Yoga may be a key place to get support for the concept of a physiologic labor. In yoga, she may be able to absorb the idea that her body was made to do the work of labor and parenting. She may come to better trust birth and her body and tune out cultural messages of fear.
Yoga may help the baby on the inside learn to regulate stress. As mama’s stress goes, so does baby’s!
Yoga is essential!!!
By Mary Esther Malloy mindfulbirthny.com