Practicing yoga during pregnancy: Mind and body benefits for you and your baby
Pregnancy is an important time for you to focus on wellness. For many women their prenatal care plan includes visits to the doctor a healthy diet vitamins and exercise. It should also include a focus on mental health to manage stress and anxiety.
You may be wondering about ways to have a healthy mind and body while you’re expecting. Practicing yoga during pregnancy is a great way to balance mindfulness and exercise during this exciting time in your life.
Maintaining a healthy body
When you’re expecting your belly will grow and your body will change in many ways. According to Women’s Health these changes can sometimes be uncomfortable and might include symptoms like muscle cramps constipation and trouble sleeping. Yoga can help relieve these common discomforts while also supporting healthy weight gain. The Mayo Clinic listed additional benefits of prenatal yoga like improved muscle strength.
While exercise is an important part of most women’s prenatal care routine many expectant mothers wonder what’s safe for their bodies and babies. Fortunately exercising while pregnant is healthy and recommended for most women. Since it’s both low-impact and non-contact yoga is considered a safe way to exercise. A study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology showed that yoga did not negatively affect the baby’s heart rate or movement.
Keeping peace of mind
It’s common to feel overwhelmed and anxious when planning for a new baby. So even while you’re taking vitamins to keep your body healthy it’s also important to support and maintain your mental health. Practicing yoga during pregnancy is a great way to care for your mind and body at the same time.
A key part of any yoga practice including prenatal yoga is meditation. Mindfulness and meditation are methods that can help you to focus on positive thoughts and minimize negative ones. The Cleveland Clinic performed a study that showed mindfulness can improve your mental outlook and reduce stress. Reduced stress benefits both you and your baby says the March of Dimes by helping to lower the risk of pregnancy complications related to stress hormones.
The physical and mental benefits of yoga make it a great way to focus on both your health and your baby’s health during pregnancy. Before you hit the mat be sure to speak with your doctor and determine if prenatal yoga is right for you.
Image source: Flickr