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International Yoga Day 2024: Know the benefits of prenatal yoga for mother and baby

Prenatal yoga has immense benefits for the mother and the baby. Discover how specially designed prenatal yoga helps maintain the maternal and the baby's health. However, it is a good idea to consult your doctor before incorporating it into your daily routine.

Written By: Kristina Das @ New Delhi Updated on: June 21, 2024 14:15 IST
International Yoga Day 2024
Image Source : SOCIAL Know the benefits of prenatal yoga for mother and baby.

Prenatal yoga is advised considering pregnant women's unique needs and requirements. It helps to physically and physiologically prepare their body for challenges associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and beyond. Prenatal yoga consists of various low-impact activities like yoga, relaxation techniques, deep breathing exercises, and gentle stretching. During pregnancy, the woman's body undergoes various physical and hormonal changes such as expansion in the abdominal area, stretching of the pelvic floor muscle, enlarged uterus, increased weight gain leading to muscle stiffness,  joint pain,  chronic back pain, and breasts starting to grow bigger for future breastfeeding. Prenatal yoga helps your body reduce the strain caused by these frequent changes in the body, easing your pregnancy journey.

Prenatal yoga works wonders not only for the mother but also for the baby and its development. When we spoke to Dr Madhulika Singh, Senior Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Ankura Hospital for Women and Child, Pune, regarding the same, she said, "The blood flow supply to the baby increases when practising prenatal yoga, making sure that the baby receives all the essential nutrients required for their development." This helps ensure improved birthweight of the baby eliminating the risk of preterm labor or pre-eclampsia.

Benefits of prenatal yoga on the mother

  • Elevates your delivering experience: During prenatal yoga, pregnant women are taught to focus more on their breathing and how to breathe deeply and effectively during tough times like sudden pregnancy pain or labour. Breathing techniques can help relax your muscles and potentially reduce strain caused by mental health. Stretching exercises can strengthen your core muscles, and improve flexibility in the womb's muscles, easing your contraction experience. Indulging in prenatal yoga daily for 9 months can result in steady recovery, especially after Cesarean delivery. Prenatal yoga will relax and calm down the pregnant woman who is anxious during this life-altering transition. 
  • Improved blood circulation: Yoga, in general, enhances blood flow to the body and increases the levels of haemoglobin and red blood cells. This ensures that more oxygen-rich blood reaches your baby. It becomes essential to have proper blood circulation during the pregnancy as your baby is dependent on the mother to receive all the essential nutrients, and oxygen through blood. This is why prenatal yoga is not only beneficial just for the mother but also for the baby in the womb.
  • An effective way to ensure mobility: During pregnancy it becomes nearly impossible to regularly engage in intense exercise or physical activities, restricting mobility. Most women are advised to take bed rest and limit physical movements to avoid severe health complications. Engaging in prenatal yoga which consists of various low-impact yoga postures, while ensuring safety can help maintain mobility and improve flexibility.

Ensuring safety while practising prenatal yoga

Before you begin your prenatal yoga journey, consult your expert and then only start with it. This can help ensure the maximum safety of the mother and the baby. Do not perform certain stretches or yoga positions without the guidance of a certified yoga instructor, as one small mistake can lead to several health complications. Make sure to go easy with your body as putting too much physical strain on the body can cause exhaustion and body pain. Inform your yoga instructor or the doctor on an immediate basis if you start to experience discomfort or pain while practising prenatal yoga to avoid complications. Strictly avoid the stretches or yoga postures which include movements like stretching or twisting, as these postures can increase your chances of falling while putting you off the balance. Always practice yoga under the guidance of a certified practitioner for the utmost safety. 

ALSO READ: International Yoga Day 2024: Here's how you can start your Yoga journey in 40s


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