Drew Barrymore’s the latest celebrity to join the ranks of the prenatal yoga mums, snapped just this week leaving a class with her yoga mat in tow. And with the likes of Sienna Miller, Uma Thurman and Jessica Alba all big fans of yoga during pregnancy, we thought we’d look into what all the fuss is about.
So, what are the benefits of yoga during pregnancy? Why are all the celeb mums at it?
For those of you who’ve never tried yoga, it’s a great way to regulate your breathing and learn new techniques for deep breathing and relaxation. A great way to slow yourself right down and take a moment to be “at one” with your body and growing baby, this is also a handy tool to have up your sleeve when negotiating contractions during labour.
Penny – who blogs at Being Mrs C – says she found the breathing techniques really useful. “I did yoga in my last pregnancy and found it really helped. The breathing techniques were great and I continued using them loads even after I’d given birth.”
“This time round I couldn’t make the classes at the times they were due to childcare issues, but I’m trying to do some of the breathing exercises at home and will probably try them out when I go into labour – hopefully in the next week or so!”
With many mums to be juggling other children, work and an ever-growing to do list, it’s easy to forget the importance of making time for yourself during your pregnancy.
Having a regular class to attend that focuses on gentle stretching exercises, relaxation and breathing, can be a great way of scheduling in that time for yourself.
Ruth – who blogs at Dorky Mum – found her prenatal yoga sessions really useful as a way to give herself some relaxation time. “I really liked the atmosphere – we all sat around to drink tea and moan about how huge we all were after the classes. I would definitely do it again if I was pregnant again – it was very good for my headspace even if it was of limited value for my body.”
Many yoga practitioners claim that the quiet time during your yoga class and the focus on stretching and breathing can help promote bonding between you and your growing baby.
Taking a quiet moment and forcing yourself to close your eyes and just be still, is often cited as a great way to concentrate on the movement of your baby inside you, something that you may not have much time to do in the general hubbub of a busy day.
Stretching and strengthening
As your pregnant body expands, you’ll need to learn to position your weight differently, to avoid aches and pains. Yoga is a great way to help you find a new point of balance, improve your posture and relieve aches and pains – especially in your back.
There are certain exercises which are also said to help open your hips in readiness for childbirth. It’s important to keep in mind though, that any form of exercise during pregnancy should always be on the recommendation of your doctor. Many women who suffered from SPD during pregnancy have told us they actually had to stop their prenatal yoga classes as the exercises were putting too much strain on their body.
Preparation for power naps
It may seem like a long way off now, but when you have a newborn, the ability to snatch short bursts of sleep is a skill worth having. Lots of mums who’ve practised yoga throughout their pregnancy say the relaxation techniques have gone on to help them rest on command when their newborns have slept.
Did you do yoga during pregnancy? What were your experiences? We’d love to hear them.