- Cheryl Andres, RN, Childbirth Educator
5 Reasons Why Prenatal Yoga is Perfect Labor Preparation
I want to share five reasons why pregnant woman should practice prenatal yoga! I'm a prenatal and mom and baby yoga instructor in Greensboro. I started my yoga practice in 1975 and have been working with pregnant women and new mothers since 1983 as a labor and delivery nurse, childbirth educator, and yoga teacher.
My top 5 reasons why you should be in prenatal yoga classes!
1. Empowerment - You will gain knowledge of your body and listen to how it feels and respond in kind...no one can empower you, it has to come from within! Continued practice in this mind body discipline called yoga will provide a foundation of trust that your body WILL be able to birth your baby! 2. Strength - They don’t call it labor for nothing! Prenatal yoga will prepare your body as well as your mind for labor and birth. Finding a balance between strength and flexibility is ideal. In pregnancy, relaxin, the hormone released which is intended to help you when it comes time for you to deliver your baby, can also cause instability issues. Practicing yoga will help you build strength while stabilizing the pelvis. A strong body can help you endure a long labor and help you recover from your baby’s birth more quickly. 3. Flexibility - Relieving tension in your body and your mind will help you feel better! Tight muscles can add to discomfort in your low back or sacral area. Practicing poses or techniques to increase your flexibility will help to give you a sense of balance and well being. Labor may require that you assume various positions so you may be very thankful that you prepared your body for it! 4. Breathing - The more your baby grows, the harder it becomes to breathe! In prenatal yoga, we focus on creating space for you to breathe more easily. Yoga requires your attention and focus - so does labor. I have always said that there is no other time in your life when you are more connected to your body and breath than when you are having a baby! The continued practice of breathing through challenging postures with your complete focus is the perfect preparation for labor and birth! 5. Community - When I first stared teaching prenatal yoga, my intention was to empower women for their birth experience. It soon became evident how powerful a community of pregnant women was! Surrounding yourself with women who are going through the same experience, sharing fears and feeling the support from other women is just as important as the yoga practice itself! In the beginning of each class I teach, I read a birth story given to me by one of my prenatal yoga students. Each birth is unique, whether it’s your first or your fifth baby! It is an opportunity for women to see how labor and birth can vary and to learn from the experience of others.
It has been my good fortune to count Jessica and Sarah, of Natural Baby Doulas, among my prenatal and mom and baby students. I’m honored to participate in this forum for pregnant women! Make sure that you Join Cheryl for Prenatal Yoga on Tuesday evening 6:15-7:30 at Radiance Yoga in Greensboro!