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Pregnancy is a beautiful time in the life of every woman, however, the period is accompanied by unique physical and psychological demands that need to be managed adequately for optimal outcomes. An expectant mother undergoes various physical, emotional, mental, and pain states that arise throughout the stages of pregnancy and labor. Self-soothing techniques, relaxation, and psychoeducation are particularly important in this transitional and meaningful time to improve the well-being and quality of life of mothers-to-be. It is no secret that maternal stress and anxiety during pregnancy have a host of negative consequences for the fetus and subsequent development. Being calm and relaxed allows you to enjoy this precious time in your life, besides creating a happy environment for your baby to grow in.

Yoga is a perfect blend of exercise for the body and mind. It helps you connect with your breath and your body by easing away the effects of everyday stress along with encouraging you to stay in the present moment. Studies have shown a single session of yoga reduces expectant mothers’ anxiety by one-third and lowers the level of stress hormones by 14 percent. Also, with regular yoga classes, expectant mothers get to discover a new community of mothers-to-be, reduce stress and physical discomfort, and experience easier pregnancy and labor.

Here, let us learn about some of the most important benefits of pregnancy yoga from the fertility expert, Dr. Archana Dhawan Bajaj, IVF Specialist.

Encourages a smooth pregnancy

Pregnancy is often accompanied by not-so-pleasant symptoms including back pain, cramps, weak pelvic floor, and tense neck and shoulder muscles. Prenatal yoga is particularly designed to strengthen your core and pelvic floor muscles to prepare for labor and delivery. Also, stretching exercises are intended to relax your back, neck, shoulders, and hips. It is unfortunate to have insomnia as one of the common complaints at a time when you need maximum rest. Regular yoga practice results in better and longer sleep, and fewer awakenings during the night especially if you begin in the second trimester.

Prepares you for labor

Yoga is not just a great way to stay fit, it offers a host of benefits for expectant mothers such as shorter and less painful labor. It helps pregnant women connect with their bodies and make them feel more in control at the time of delivery. Breathing exercises which are a part of pregnancy yoga classes prepare women for labor. Breathing not only helps manage pain but also efficiently aids the use of the muscles involved in birthing the baby.

Helps you connect with your baby

It is very common to overlook the miracle developing inside you in your busy routine. However, when you come to the yoga class, you tend to forget the outside world and focus completely on your pregnancy. It allows you to relax, become aware of how you are feeling, and bond with your baby. Slowly, you will notice this bond growing stronger with every passing day.

Helps build a network of friends

Social support is vital at every stage in our lives and more so during pregnancy. However, you may not find the much-needed support in your existing community. A prenatal yoga class brings you close to a circle of friends who are going through the same worries and problems and exactly understand your state of mind. Often these friendships go well beyond the birth of your child and you already have a network of mums by the time your baby is out.

Yoga is beneficial at every stage of pregnancy, but before you decide to jump in, take a deep breath and listen to your body. The first trimester is usually a period when you might be tired and nauseous, and during this time you would rather prefer to stay in bed than attend a yoga class. If that is the case, take all the rest you need and wait till the nausea is over and you feel a surge of fresh energy which usually is the case at the beginning of the second trimester. And the best part of prenatal yoga is you can continue to attend the classes well in your last trimester until you are ready to give birth.

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