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When you ask any woman what is the most difficult, challenging yet beautiful part of being a woman, you” ll mostly get the answer “giving birth to a child”. Pregnancy is the most wonderful but also challenging time for any woman. There is a lot to navigate from physical changes to emotional ups and downs. However, yoga for pregnancy is a natural and effective way to help women deal with these changes and prepare for birth. Not only does yoga promote physical and mental wellness, but it also provides a sense of community and support. In this blog, we’ll discuss yoga poses to practice each trimester, the benefits of those yoga poses during pregnancy, and some tips for staying safe while practicing. So buckle up all you mommy-to-be, to get started!
How Can Prenatal Yoga Help In Delivery?
Yoga for pregnancy also known as prenatal yoga can help with delivery in several ways:
- Strengthening And Stretching Muscles: Prenatal yoga can help to strengthen and stretch the muscles used during delivery, such as the pelvic floor, abdominal, and back muscles. This can make it easier for you to handle the physical demands of labor and delivery and can help you avoid common discomforts such as back pain and cramping.
- Improving Elasticity: Prenatal yoga can help to improve your flexibility, which can make it easier for you to adopt different positions during labor and delivery. Being able to move and change positions can help you find comfort and reduce the length of labor.
- De-Stressing Mind And Body: Prenatal yoga can help to reduce stress and anxiety by promoting relaxation, mindfulness, and breathing techniques. This can help you to stay calm and centered during labor and delivery, even in the face of discomfort or uncertainty.
- Promoting Mindful Breathing: Prenatal yoga for the mental health of pregnant women is really great. It emphasizes mindful breathing, which is an essential tool for dealing with the stress and discomfort of labor and delivery. Regular practice can help you develop a strong and steady breath, which you can use to stay calm and focused during contractions.
- Building A Supportive Community: Many prenatal yoga classes provide a supportive community of women who are also going through the same experiences. This can give a sense of camaraderie and can help to alleviate feelings of isolation and anxiety.
In short, prenatal yoga or yoga for pregnancy can be a wonderful way to prepare for delivery by promoting physical and mental wellness, and helping you develop the skills and techniques you need to stay calm and centered during labor and delivery.
First Let’s Understand The Pregnancy Trimester!
The pregnancy period is divided into three trimesters, each lasting approximately 12 weeks. The three trimesters are essential stages of fetal development and each trimester has its own specific challenges and changes for the mother.
- First Trimester (Weeks 1-12): During the first trimester, the fertilized egg implants in the uterus, and the placenta forms. This is also when the fetus develops its vital organs. The first trimester is also when many women experience morning sickness and fatigue.
- Second Trimester (Weeks 13-27): During the second trimester, the fetus grows rapidly and begins to develop physical features. This is also a time when the mother’s belly starts to grow and she may feel more energetic and less nauseous.
- Third Trimester (Weeks 28-40): During the third trimester, the fetus continues to grow and mature in preparation for birth. This is also a time when the mother may experience increased discomfort, such as back pain and Braxton Hicks contractions. The third trimester is also a time when many women start to feel more anxious and excited about the upcoming birth.
Each trimester is an important stage of development for both the mother and the fetus, and it’s important for women to take care of themselves physically and emotionally throughout each stage of pregnancy.
Yoga Poses For Each Trimester!
After learning about each trimester, it is clearly understood that each trimester is a journey on its own, so to make your journey easier and healthier, here are 5 yoga poses for each trimester of your pregnancy.
First Trimester Yoga Poses
The following are five yoga poses that are recommended for the first trimester of pregnancy:
- Cat-Cow Stretch: This yoga pose helps to relieve tension in the lower back and improve flexibility in the spine. Begin on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. As you inhale, arch your back, lift your tailbone, and head toward the ceiling. As you exhale, round your spine and tuck your chin to your chest.
- Child’s Pose: This pose helps to stretch the hips, thighs, and back, and promotes relaxation. Begin on your hands and knees with your knees hip-width apart and your big toes touching. As you exhale, sit back on your heels and stretch your arms forward.
- Downward Facing Dog: This pose helps to stretch the hamstrings and calves, and can also relieve tension in the lower back. Begin on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. As you exhale, lift your hips up and back, straightening your arms and legs into an inverted “V” shape.
- Warrior I: This pose helps to strengthen the legs, hips, and spine, and can also help to improve balance. Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart. As you inhale, step your left foot back and bend your right knee. As you exhale, raise your arms overhead and hold for several breaths. Repeat on the other side.
- Cobra Pose: This pose helps to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles, and can also improve posture. Begin lying on your belly with your hands under your shoulders and your elbows close to your sides. As you inhale, press into your hands and lift your chest and head off the floor.
Second Trimester Yoga For Pregnancy
Here are five recommendations for yoga in pregnancy second trimester:
- Triangle Pose: This yoga asana helps to improve balance, flexibility, and circulation, and can also relieve tension in the hips. Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart As you inhale, step your left foot back and raise your arms overhead. As you exhale, bend to the right and place your right hand on your ankle or shin. Hold for several breaths, then repeat on the other side.
- Pigeon Pose: This yoga pose helps to relieve tension in the hips and lower back, and can also improve flexibility in the hips and thighs. Begin on your hands and knees with your right knee bent and your right foot behind your left wrist. Lower your left knee to the floor and extend your right leg behind you. Hold for several breaths, then repeat on the other side.
- Bound Angle Pose: This yoga pose helps to open the hips and improve circulation in the legs, and can also promote relaxation. Begin sitting with the soles of your feet together and your knees bent out to the sides. Hold onto your ankles and hold for several breaths.
- Seated Forward Bend: This pose helps to stretch the hamstrings and lower back, and can also promote relaxation. Begin seated with your legs straight out in front of you. As you exhale, bend forward and reach for your toes. Hold for several breaths.
- Leg Lifts: This yoga pose helps to strengthen the legs and improve circulation, and can also be used to relieve tension in the lower back. Begin lying on your back with your legs straight and your arms by your sides. As you exhale, lift your right leg toward the ceiling, then release. Repeat with the left leg, and continue for several repetitions.
Third Trimester Yoga Poses
The following are five yoga poses that are recommended for the third trimester of pregnancy:
- Cat/Cow Pose: Start on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees hip-distance apart. Inhale and drop your belly towards the mat as you lift your gaze and chest up. Exhale and arch your back, tucking your chin towards your chest.
- Extended Puppy Pose: Begin in a tabletop position with your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Bring your elbows and forearms to the mat and lower your chest between your arms. Keep your hips over your knees and your forehead on the mat.
- Seated Forward Bend: Start seated with your legs extended in front of you. Inhale and come up to a tall seated position. On an exhale, fold your torso over your legs. Keep your spine long and relax your head and neck.
- Triangle Pose: Begin in mountain pose. Step your feet about 3-4 feet apart. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot in slightly. Inhale and extend your arms out to the sides, shoulder height. Exhale and reach your right hand down to your right ankle or to the floor while your left arm reaches up toward the sky.
- Reclined Bound Angle Pose: Begin lying on your back with the soles of your feet together, knees bent and open. Let your arms rest by your sides with your palms facing up. Relax your whole body and stay here for several breaths.
Remember: Hold each yoga pose for several breaths and repeat it a minimum of 5 times.
5 Useful Benefits Of Yoga For Pregnant Women
Here are 5 ways how prenatal yoga is beneficial in healthy delivery:
- Relieves Stress And Anxiety: Pregnancy can be a stressful time, especially with the many changes happening in your body and the uncertainty of childbirth. Yoga helps to relieve stress and anxiety by promoting relaxation, breathing techniques, and mindfulness.
- Improves Sleep: Pregnancy can cause sleep disturbances, which can leave you feeling tired and stressed. Practicing yoga regularly can help to improve your sleep quality, leaving you feeling more rested and refreshed.
- Increases Body Flexibility: Pregnancy can put a lot of strain on your body, especially as your belly grows and your center of gravity changes. Yoga can help you maintain your strength and flexibility, which can make it easier for you to handle the physical demands of pregnancy and childbirth.
- Reduces Physical Discomforts: Pregnancy can cause a range of physical discomforts, such as back pain, sciatica, and cramps. Yoga can help to relieve these discomforts by stretching and strengthening your muscles and improving your posture.
- Promotes Mindful Breathing: Mindful breathing is a key component of yoga and is an essential tool for dealing with the stress and discomfort of pregnancy and childbirth. Regular practice can help you develop a solid and steady breath, which you can use to stay calm and centered during labor and delivery.
5 Safety Tips for Practicing Prenatal Yoga
Make sure to keep these 5 important safety tips in mind before you begin your yoga for pregnancy journey:
- Consult With Your Doctor: Before starting any new exercise routine during pregnancy, it’s important to consult with your doctor. They can help you determine if yoga is safe for you and give you specific guidelines.
- Avoid Certain Poses: Some yoga poses may not be safe during pregnancy, particularly those that involve lying on your back or stomach, or that put pressure on your belly. It’s essential to modify or avoid these poses and listen to your body and avoid any poses that cause discomfort.
- Focus On Diet: Pre Pregnancy Diet is an important factor to consider during each trimester of pregnancy. A well-balanced diet can provide the necessary nutrients to support the health and development of both the mother and the baby.
- Stay Hydrated: Staying hydrated is important during pregnancy, and even more so during yoga practice. Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after your practice to help prevent dehydration.
- Listen To Your Body: It’s important to listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself too hard during yoga practice. If you feel tired or uncomfortable, it’s okay to take a break or stop your practice altogether.
All Is Well If You Practice Yoga For Pregnancy!
Yoga is a gentle form of exercise that can be a beneficial addition to a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy. Practicing pregnancy yoga for normal delivery can be beneficial. Prenatal yoga can help to improve strength, flexibility, and balance, and can also help to relieve stress and promote relaxation. We have also shared yoga for pregnancy benefits, and tips along with poses for each trimester that you can definitely try. You can try pregnancy yoga at home even.
Post-Pregnancy Weight Loss Transformation
This transformation journey is an inspiration for every mom, Priya is a young Mother from Karnal. She reached out to Fitelo through our Facebook page. Her increased post-pregnancy weight was a concern. Thus, she wanted to get in shape. Read her story to know how Fitelo helped her.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Are The Best Poses While Practicing Yoga For Pregnancy?
Ans. Gentle yoga classes that focus on breathing, relaxation, and gentle stretching are best for pregnant women
Q: What Are The Benefits Of Doing Yoga For Pregnancy?
Ans: Yoga for pregnant women can help reduce stress, improve sleep, enhance circulation, reduce back pain, improve digestion and breathing, and increase strength and flexibility.
Q: How Often Should Pregnant Women Practice Yoga?
Ans: It is recommended that pregnant women practice yoga at least twice a week. However, if you feel like practicing more often, you can consult your doctor.
Q: Is It Safe To Do Yoga For Pregnancy?
Ans: Generally, yes. However, you should always check with your doctor before beginning any type of exercise during pregnancy.
Here is another inspiring postpartum weight loss story that you should definitely read. Mandeep reached out to Fitelo with concern about her post-pregnancy weight gain. She was struggling to lose even a kilo before joining us. She set a goal for herself – to get in shape like how she was before pregnancy.
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