Yoga For Gestational Diabetes- Top 7 Yoga Poses To Try

Aishwarya Aneesh

Aishwarya Aneesh
Jul 2023

2 min read
Yoga For Gestational Diabetes

Table of content

Are you an expectant mother dealing with gestational diabetes and seeking safe and effective ways to manage your blood sugar levels during pregnancy? Look no further! Yoga for gestational diabetes can be a game-changer in promoting your overall well-being and supporting a healthy pregnancy journey. 

Did you know that gestational diabetes affects approximately 10% of pregnancies worldwide? With its gentle and mindful approach, yoga offers numerous benefits for expectant mothers, helping to regulate blood glucose levels and reduce stress. 

In this article, we’ll explore seven effective yoga asanas specifically tailored for managing gestational diabetes, so you can embrace this beautiful phase with confidence and serenity. 

Let’s embark on a journey of empowerment through yoga and motherhood!

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What Is Gestational Diabetes?

A type of diabetes that appears during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. It occurs when the body is unable to produce enough insulin to meet the increased demands of pregnancy, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. 

This condition usually occurs around the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy and typically resolves after childbirth.

Key points about gestational diabetes:

  • Hormonal Changes: During pregnancy, the placenta produces hormones that can interfere with insulin’s action in the body, causing insulin resistance.
  • Risk Factors: Women with a family history of diabetes, overweight or obese women, and those with previous gestational diabetes are at higher risk.
  • Effects On The Baby: Gestational diabetes can lead to excessive fetal growth, increasing the risk of complications during delivery. It may also result in low blood sugar levels in the newborn shortly after birth.
  • Monitoring And Management: Gestational diabetes diet plan changes, exercise, and, in some cases, insulin therapy to control blood sugar levels and reduce risks to both mother and baby.
  • Health Implications: If not properly managed, gestational diabetes can lead to preeclampsia, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes later in life for both the mother and the child.
  • Prenatal Care: Regular prenatal check-ups and blood sugar monitoring are crucial for early detection and effective management of gestational diabetes.

What Are The Risk Factors Associated With Gestational Diabetes?

Several risk factors increase the likelihood of developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy. These factors can help identify women who may be at higher risk and require closer monitoring for early detection and management. The following are risk factors for gestational diabetes:

  • Family History: Women with a family history of diabetes, especially a first-degree relative with type 2 diabetes, are at an increased risk.
  • Overweight Or Obesity: Pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) above the normal range increases the risk of gestational diabetes.
  • Age: Pregnant women over the age of 25, particularly those over 35, have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.
  • Previous Gestational Diabetes: Women who had experienced gestational diabetes are more likely to do so in subsequent pregnancies.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): Women with PCOS have a higher risk of gestational diabetes due to insulin resistance. Here is the best yoga for PCOS.
  • Ethnicity: Some ethnic groups, including Asian, Hispanic, African-American, and Native American women, have a higher predisposition to gestational diabetes.
  • Excessive Amniotic Fluid: A condition called polyhydramnios, characterized by excessive amniotic fluid, can be associated with gestational diabetes.
  • History Of Large Babies: Women who have previously given birth to large babies (over 9 pounds) are at an increased risk.
  • History Of Unexplained Stillbirth: Women with a history of unexplained stillbirth are at a higher risk of gestational diabetes in subsequent pregnancies.

Identifying these risk factors and managing gestational diabetes with appropriate lifestyle modifications, diet, exercise, and sometimes medication, can help ensure a healthy pregnancy and reduce complications for both the mother and the baby. 

Does Yoga Help With Gestational Diabetes?

Yes, yoga can be beneficial in managing gestational diabetes and promoting overall well-being during pregnancy. Here’s how yoga can help:

  • Blood Sugar Management: Gentle yoga poses and breathing exercises can help regulate blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing insulin resistance.
  • Stress Reduction: Pregnancy can be a stressful time, and stress can impact blood sugar levels. Yoga’s relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation, can help reduce stress and promote emotional well-being.
  • Physical Activity: Yoga provides a safe and low-impact form of exercise during pregnancy, which can help manage weight and improve overall fitness, contributing to better blood sugar control.
  • Improved Circulation: Yoga poses and stretches enhance blood circulation throughout the body, including the placenta, which can benefit both the mother and the baby.
  • Pelvic Floor Strengthening: Certain yoga poses can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which may aid in labor and delivery.
  • Mind-Body Connection: Yoga encourages mindfulness and self-awareness, helping pregnant women become more attuned to their bodies needs and potential signs of gestational diabetes.
  • Comfort And Relaxation: Prenatal online yoga classes often include poses and practices tailored to ease pregnancy discomforts and promote relaxation.

However, it’s essential for pregnant women with gestational diabetes to consult their healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine, including yoga. A certified prenatal yoga instructor can provide guidance on safe and appropriate poses for gestational diabetes management.

7 Best Yoga Poses For Gestational Diabetes

Managing gestational diabetes during pregnancy requires a holistic approach, and yoga can be a valuable addition to your wellness routine. Here are the seven best yoga poses that can help in gestational diabetes management:

Vrikshasana (Tree Pose):

  • Promotes balance and stability, which can be beneficial during pregnancy.
  • Strengthens leg muscles and pelvic region, supporting the added weight of pregnancy.
  • Enhances focus and concentration, reducing stress and promoting emotional well-being.

Trikonasana (Triangle Pose):

  • Stretches and opens up the hips and pelvis, relieving tension and discomfort.
  • Helps improve digestion and alleviate constipation, common issues during pregnancy.
  • Stimulates abdominal organs, potentially aiding in blood sugar regulation.

Bhadrasana (Butterfly Pose):

  • Opens up the hips and stretches the inner thighs, providing relief from pregnancy-related aches.
  • Stimulates abdominal organs, which may support digestion and blood sugar management.
  • Encourages relaxation and calms the mind, reducing stress levels.

Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II):

  • Strengthens and tones leg muscles, providing support for the growing belly.
  • Opens up the chest and promotes deep breathing, aiding in stress reduction.
  • Improves circulation and can be beneficial for blood sugar control.

Bidalasana (Cat-Cow Pose):

  • Helps maintain flexibility and mobility in the spine, which can be affected during pregnancy.
  • Promotes relaxation and reduces back pain and stiffness.
  • Facilitates gentle movement in the abdominal region, potentially aiding digestion.

Sukhasana (Easy Pose):

  • Encourages relaxation and reduces stress, supporting emotional well-being.
  • Provides a comfortable seated position for meditation and focused breathing exercises.
  • Helps in maintaining a calm and peaceful state of mind during pregnancy.

Marjariasana (Cat Pose):

  • Relieves tension in the back and improves spine flexibility.
  • Massages and stimulates abdominal organs, which may have a positive impact on digestion and blood sugar regulation.

Remember to practice yoga for diabetes under the guidance of a certified prenatal yoga instructor.

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A Word From Fitelo

Yoga offers expectant mothers with gestational diabetes a valuable tool to manage blood sugar levels and support overall well-being during pregnancy. 

These gentle and effective yoga poses can promote relaxation, improve flexibility, and aid in stress reduction. 

When practiced under the guidance of a certified prenatal yoga instructor, yoga can complement medical care and contribute to a healthier and more enjoyable pregnancy journey. 

Embrace the benefits of yoga for gestational diabetes to nurture your body and mind during this special time.

Fun Fact

Discover the power of dates vs. blueberries in controlling blood sugar and aiding weight loss! While dates have slightly more sugar content, their glycemic index of 42 is lower than dried blueberries (glycemic index of 53). Learn about the concept of the Glycemic Index and why dates are a better option for sugar control and weight management. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can Yoga Help In Gestational Diabetes?

Yoga can be beneficial in managing gestational diabetes by promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and improving insulin sensitivity. Gentle yoga poses and breathing exercises can help regulate blood sugar levels and enhance overall well-being during pregnancy.

What Are The Benefits Of Yoga In Gestational Diabetes?

The benefits of yoga in gestational diabetes include better blood sugar control, reduced stress levels, improved flexibility, and enhanced physical and emotional well-being. Yoga can also help alleviate pregnancy discomforts and prepare the body for childbirth.

Does Yoga Really Cure Gestational Diabetes?

Yoga cannot cure gestational diabetes, but it can aid in managing the condition alongside medical care and a healthy lifestyle. It is essential to follow the healthcare provider’s recommendations for the proper management of gestational diabetes.

Is Yoga For Gestational Diabetes Advisable For All Women?

Yoga for gestational diabetes is generally safe and advisable for most pregnant women, especially when practiced under the guidance of a certified prenatal yoga instructor. However, it is crucial to consult a healthcare provider before starting any new exercise regimen during pregnancy.

Is It Safe To Do Yoga With Gestational Diabetes?

Yoga can be safe for women with gestational diabetes, but individual health conditions may vary. It’s essential to discuss your specific situation with a healthcare provider and seek guidance from a prenatal yoga instructor who can tailor practices to your needs.

At What Week Does Gestational Diabetes Develop? 

Gestational diabetes typically develops around the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy when the body’s insulin production may be insufficient to handle increased blood sugar levels effectively.

Does Prenatal Yoga Help With Gestational Diabetes?

Yes, prenatal yoga can be helpful in managing gestational diabetes. It offers a combination of gentle movements, breathing techniques, and relaxation to support overall well-being and blood sugar regulation during pregnancy.

Who Should Avoid Yoga For Gestational Diabetes?

Women with certain pregnancy complications or medical conditions may need to avoid or modify yoga practices. Those with high-risk pregnancies, severe gestational diabetes, or specific medical restrictions should consult their healthcare provider before attempting yoga or any exercise routine during pregnancy.

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This blog post was written to help you to make healthy and better food choices altogether. So, be aware and take care. The important thing to consider is your health before starting a restrictive diet. Always seek advice from a doctor/dietitian before starting if you have any concerns.

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