Pregnancy is probably one of the best things that can ever happen to a woman. It signifies one’s ability to create a new life and deliver it to this world.
Now, while pregnancy is beautiful and full of hope, there are things that can put it at risk. This includes lifestyle factors, age, existing health conditions, and the actual conditions of the pregnancy and when a woman experiences risks while carrying her baby, things can be a little hard to deal with.
This is where prenatal yoga can help. If you are still feeling doubtful about adding it to your routine, here are some of the ways it can make your pregnancy a lot less complicated.
Yoga keeps your stress levels under control
Taking care of yourself during pregnancy isn’t just about eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep or exercising. It also has a lot to do with having low stress.
You see, when you’re under stress, certain reactions are triggered in your body which can also stress out the baby. And once that happens, your baby may not be able to develop properly.
By practicing yoga, studies have foundyou’ll be able to keep your stress level low. You’ll be able to calm yourself so you won’t have to react too quickly each time you’re triggered.
Yoga can help keep you in shape
Obesity can increase your chances of developing diabetes. This condition increases your risk of developing high blood pressure and even pre-eclampsia.
When left untreated, those health issues can affect your brain, liver, and kidneys. In the long-term, they can also be fatal to your baby.
Yoga makes the placenta healthier
The placenta is that organ in your uterus that maintains the nutrition of your baby while he’s still inside you. Keeping it healthy means being able to provide all the nourishment your little one needs to be healthy.
Yoga has this unique ability to increase blood circulation which supports the uterus, placenta, and the baby. Practicing it every day should be able to keep your organs healthy, reducing the risk of miscarriage, preterm birth, and other complications.
Yoga reduces high blood pressure
A rise in blood pressure during pregnancy can signal pre-eclampsia. If not managed properly, this condition can affect the organ development of the unborn and put both the mother and baby at risk.
How does yoga help manage the condition?
Yoga can keep pregnant women calm and that can reduce their chances of developing pre-eclampsia. Also, yoga can keep expecting mothers’ weight in check, helping normalize all their vital signs.
Of course, prenatal yoga is only a part of the solution to limiting the development of pre-eclampsia. Pregnant women still have to watch their diet and make sure to see their doctors if they experience any dizziness, nausea, headache or changes in their vision.
Yoga reduces anxiety and depression
While pregnancy is supposed to be a happy experience, many women go through depression, confusion, and fear during such time. It happens when a pregnant woman’s hormones affect the chemicals in the brain causing persistent sadness, recurring thoughts of suicide, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, and change in eating habits.
If left unaddressed, those things can lead to premature birth, developmental problems, and low birth weight. Additionally, pregnant women who are depressed typically don’t possess enough desire or strength to take care of herself and the baby. As a result, their babies can show less attention, may be agitated and show less activity than normal. A Harvard study suggests that yoga helps with the stress response in the body.
Healthy Food for Prenatal
Some healthy essential for eating include:
- Greek yogurt
- Legumes offer up fiber, protein, iron, and calcium. Your body needs this during pregnancy.
- Sweet potatoes. They are rich in beta-carotene. The body then converts it to be vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for cell growth and essential for fetal development.
- Any Omega 3 fatty acid. This includes salmon, is important during pregnancy.
- Eggs have choline in them which is important during pregnancy. If a woman has low choline, they can experience neural tube defects which can potentially cause decreased brain function for the baby.
Salmon with Almonds
- Raw, chopped Almonds ¼ cup
- Honey 1 teaspoon
- Atlantic salmon (4 oz)
Oven to 400 degrees F.
Put the honey on the salmon and sprinkle almonds on the honey.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the salmon is opaque in the middle.
Spinach Salad with a Citrus Dressing
- 2 medium grated carrots
- 1 cup citrus-avocado dressing of your choice
- 1/2 cucumber chopped
- 10 olive(s)
- 1 bunch washed, stemmed spinach
Add everything into a bowl and toss.
Coconut and Berries Smoothie
- Blackberries or raspberries 1 cup
Banana 1 medium
Coconut flakes ¼ cup
Coconut milk 1 cup
Chia seeds 1 teaspoon
Pumpkin seeds 1 teaspoon
Spinach ½ cup
Add the spinach, banana, and yogurt together in a blender first. Add the blackberries and blend further. Top with few more berries, the seeds, and the coconut flakes.
A Word of Caution
While prenatal yoga is highly effective in reducing pregnancy risks, it doesn’t mean that it’s safe for everyone to do. As a pregnant woman, you have to do your part in understanding what the activity entails, what risks it poses to you and your unborn child, and how you can safely perform it.
As a guide, avoid hot yoga as much as possible, particularly if you’re planning to do it in a heated studio.
Hot yoga is beneficial for pregnant women but too much heat in the very early stage of pregnancy can increase the risk of neural tube defects. It’s a condition that involves a malformation in the skull or spine of the baby.
When done later in pregnancy, a woman’s blood vessels can dilate in an attempt to get rid of excess heat. This causes blood pressure to fall.
Other forms of yoga can be safely performed throughout pregnancy. However, there are modifications you need to do accommodate your belly and the changes in your center of gravity.
Make sure to talk to your doctor or nurse and let them know that you’re planning on incorporating yoga into your daily pregnancy routine. It can also help if you seek the help of a yoga teacher to help you with the modifications.