Prenatal Yoga Can Help Prevent Injury During Childbirth
Childbirth tends to come with a story, commonly known as one’s birth story. Most focus on the positive and the magic of the experience, but there are some where the whole thing was less than ideal. One of the simple ways to prevent injury during the childbirth experience is with yoga, because it prepares your body for the journey–both physically and mentally. While I am fascinated with the concept, I am no expert, so I found one for you to explain. I leave the floor to Carey.
I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with my second son. First of all, I was completely shocked as I could not even remember having had sex with my husband, we had both been so busy. Between working our full-time jobs and participating in the daily grind, we were both stressed most of the time and barely connected with ourselves or one another. So, naturally, I was terrified about having another child. How was I going to still do everything I needed to do while growing another child? What if I got postpartum depression again? I could NOT survive that!
Now that my second son is 15-months old, I look back at that time as a beautiful unfolding of a new way of living, a “wakeup call” so to speak. I am so much happier now, but it was a process.
Having always been a passionate (part-time) yoga instructor, I decided to return to my roots and really take care of myself during this pregnancy. Besides doing the usual “healthy things”, I decided to devote myself to a regular yoga practice to minimize the effects of stress on my body and mind, something I had neglected during my first pregnancy. I was quickly reminded why I always loved the practice of yoga so much. I felt so much more relaxed, slept better and felt so much better overall.
Now, I am NOT suggesting that yoga is the answer to all things. And, in fact, certain types of yoga are not recommended during pregnancy, such as hot classes. Nor am I saying that it is the ONLY reason I had such a more positive experience the second time around, but I also cannot deny how much more relaxed I felt following a regular practice and I know how important TRUE relaxation is during pregnancy.
So, how does yoga and meditation help support a healthy pregnancy, and reduce the risk of injury during childbirth? According to the American Pregnancy Association, some of the many benefits of a regular prenatal yoga practice include:
- Improved sleep
- Reduced stress <– which cannot be overstated!!
- Decreased nausea
- Decreased lower back pain
- Decreased headaches
- Decreased carpel tunnel syndrome <– this drove me bonkers in my first pregnancy
- Reduced risk of preterm labour
- Lowered risk of intrauterine growth restriction (condition that slows the baby’s growth)
- Reduced hypertension-related complications
And, these same yoga benefits can be experienced in the postpartum stage as well, when your body and mind are trying so hard to find a new sense of balance. Especially those crazy hormones, right?!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Carey Carty, owner and operator of Yoga With Carey, is a highly trained Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga and Meditation Instructor. She completed her 200-hour Ashtanga yoga teacher training, and holds a B.A. Highest Honours in Biology and Psychology. Carey provides private and group yoga classes in Carleton Place and in the surrounding Ottawa area. Interested in Prenatal or Postnatal yoga but can’t summon the energy or the time to attend a class? Because she understands how challenging it can be to get out as a mom, she offers private yoga classes in the comfort of your own home. You can find out more about her classes on her website.
DISCLAIMER: images in this blog post were provided by the author and are not the work of Pure Natural Newborn Photography.