Pregnancy is a natural occurrence in which for nine months, a woman carries a child until birth. A woman goes through many physical, emotional, and mental ups and downs during the nine months. It is advised that women can stay strong and active during the pregnancy stage if they eat healthy food and do regular exercise. A person stays very fit if he/she performs some sort of physical exercises every day. Exercise is best for ensuring a healthy lifestyle, and its importance increases for a woman who is pregnant. The regular physical workout that a woman may do will considerably help her to overcome the difficulties and troubles which are common during pregnancy.
The common health problems which women are likely to face during pregnancy are
- Indigestion and feeling of vomiting
- Gestational diabetes
- Prolonged muscle fatigue
- Swollen ankles
- Varicose veins
- Lack of sleep
The pregnant women should first take advice from her consulting doctor and health provider before starting any physical routine as some of the exercises can be quite tough on the body and may cause complications. There are many simple and low impact exercises which pregnant women can easily perform, such as brisk walking, indoor cycling on a stationary bike, swimming, yoga, aerobic exercises, and squatting. It is said that just two and a half hours of exercise can significantly improve the health and mood of the pregnant woman and remove the strain, anxiety, physical issues, and complications.
The few hours spent in low impact physical workout can help to
- Keep the body and mind active and healthy.
- Improve the function of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels
- Maintain the right amount of weight during pregnancy
- Recover and get back into shape after childbirth
- Manage the stress
- Get proper rest and sleep
- Reduce the chances of having a Cesarean or C-section baby
- Tone the muscles and prepare the body for labor and childbirth
- Remove the swelling of legs, constipation, and pain in the hips and back
There are many different exercises, and each is quite valuable during pregnancy, but yoga for pregnant women is probably the best physical workout as it helps to deal with issues with both the body and the mind. Yoga helps a person to find the right semblance and balance between the body, mind, and breath. The balance is made possible through physical postures, breathing exercises, meditation session, and relaxation techniques. The yoga exercises can be quite tough, but the postures can be modified to suit the needs of pregnant women. A woman should first consult the doctor before taking admission to the nearby fitness center that offers the yoga classes. The doctor knows about the health of the woman and can advise her on what postures to do and which to avoid.
The yoga classes are conducted by an experienced trainer who knows which postures and workout would be best for women during pregnancy. The women need to buy a yoga mat, wear light clothes, carry a cushion and blanket, some light snacks, and a water bottle while attending the yoga class.
There are many pregnant women who take part in yoga classes, and a woman who is having a baby for the first time can get valuable tips and knowledge in how to maintain health and avoid problems during pregnancy. The yoga classes are also divided into different stages, depending on the trimester of pregnancy. The yoga exercises for all three trimesters are different, in the first trimester pregnant women can try many yoga postures to tone the muscles, but in the third trimester, many of the women avoid workouts which are stressful both for the women and the baby.
A normal yoga session begins with a warm-up session in which pregnant women are asked to stretch their backs, arms, and legs. The postures help to provide strength and increase endurance. The session mostly ends with women performing relaxation and meditation techniques. The yoga postures are purposefully designed to stretch the muscles and not strain them, but if a pregnant woman is having discomfort, she can stop and ask the yoga instructor to advice some other workout.
What is the best time to start doing yoga during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is different for every woman, and the problems faced by one pregnant woman may not be experienced by another pregnant woman. It is said that the ideal time for yoga for pregnant women is in the second trimester, which is after 14 weeks since the baby is conceived. A woman who is not used to doing yoga exercises should avoid doing them in the first trimester. One of the reasons why yoga instructors ask not to do yoga in the first trimester is due to complication such as miscarriages although it is not proven that doing yoga or any other exercise causes it, but on the safe side it is better to avoid yoga in first three months of pregnancy.
In the second trimester, the woman also knows about her physical condition and can quickly adapt to the physical, mental, and emotional changes as compared to the first trimester. A woman is also less likely to feel tired or sick while doing yoga in the second trimester. The yoga poses which should be avoided during pregnancy are
- Long stretches which may put the muscles under strain
- Lying on the back after 16 months, pregnant women should keep a cushion and blanket to relieve the pressure
- Lying on the stomach
- Breathing for longer durations
- Bending your back at different angles
- Twisting the hips
Yoga is very helpful for the physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing of a pregnant woman. The yoga postures and poses are known to provide several benefits to the pregnant woman who is
- Improve the blood circulation
- Helps to tone the muscles particularly back and hip muscles
- Provide flexibility to the muscles
- Increases the stamina of the woman which is essential during labor and childbirth
- The relaxation and meditation helps to release the anxiety and pressure
- Prepare the body for childbirth
- Helps to maintain the right weight during pregnancy as being overweight can cause complications
- Reduces the lower back pains, headaches, shortness of breath and nausea
- Allow the woman to rest and sleep well
Miss. Lily Green works as a pediatrician and also writes on her blog giving valuable information to her readers. She recently covered the problems during pregnancy and the ways to cope it. She wrote on how yoga for pregnant women can help to relieve numerous pregnancy issues.