So your partner is thinking of, or might have already joined a Pregnancy Yoga class, or maybe you are looking for ways to help reduce some of the not so great side effects of pregnancy - well you've hit the jackpot!!
You might have heard how beneficial yoga can be during pregnancy - maybe you've practiced yoga yourself? There are many many different styles of yoga, from the very high intensity & hot yoga, to very slow, relaxing meditation style classes. Pregnancy yoga is a very therapuetic style, usually encorperating breathing, mindfulness, and safe supportive asana (postures) on the physical side. So whether your partnter has any experience with yoga at all, and regardless of how fit / unfit / or unwell she feels - this class will be perfect in supporting her physically, and emotionally until your baby is born.
Here are my favorite 4 Amazing Benenefits that practicing Yoga in pregnancy can offer YOUR Partner & Baby....
1. Keeps Her Stress Levels Low
Just 1 hour of yoga keeps her stress levels low for a whole week!!! Research done in Manchester a few years ago, tested womens cortisol levels before a yoga class, afterwards, and over the course of the week. They were AMAZED to find that not only were stress levels far lower than they predicted just after the class, but they STAYED low throughout the week, just creeping up slowly as the week continued.
The magical effects of keeping stress low is that your baby's brain will develop much differently, priming them to be calmer, and cry less - as well as develop better overall as her blood vessels stay open allowing more oxygenated blood to flow through to them week after week.
She will FEEL much better in herself too - muscles that were tense and sore are able to open and relax, her anxiety levels drop, meaning better moods and a more positive outlook and space to focus her mind on the changes ahead.
2. Better Birth Outcomes
There are so many elements of a yoga class that link into preparing her body and mind for a positive and wonderful birth experience - even if she'll want, or need medical procedures - having a calm and assertive outlook means she will feel in control and positive.
Practicing the active birthing positions means she'll be more likely to use them during the birth, meaning she'll have a heightened state of comfort and ease, more effective contractions, and a faster and more straightforward labour - simples right?
She'll also learn a range of new breathing techniques to help now and during the birth - this is often the key to feeling in control, calm and relaxed throughout.
There is a HUGE overlap between Pregnancy Yoga and Hypnobirthing as we talk about the mind body link as a way of life, not just for during the birth! Many teachers have also done some training in intergrating Hypnosis, and Self Hypnosis into their classes, and the fact she's practicing this weekly from much earlier than a standard birth prep class stands her in a fantastic position to really embody the techniques taught.
3. Comfort and SLEEP
Maybe she's one of the lucky few who sleep like a baby throughout pregnancy???
Well here is another fantastic benefit - During classes she'll be helped and encouraged to find new positions, and ways of propping herself / bump / back / legs to maximise her relaxation time - many women find this absolutely invaluable, often swapping tips with each other, and their teacher too (all of which she'll be remembering to pass on to the next group of women who come along to class)
During the deep relaxation time at the end of the class, hormones relating to sleep and relaxation will increase naturally. Some teachers will use hypnosis techniques, positive suggestions and teach her ways of practicing self hypnosis at home to help her fall asleep quickly and easily even when she does need to get up and pee!
This of course has the knock on effect of YOU getting a better nights sleep too, and feeling better all round in the daytime and evening when you are well rested - giving you more quality couple time as you prepare emotionally for the big changes ahead.
4. Eases Pregnancy Ailments
There are many new, interesting, and beautiful ways that her body may react to growing a tiny human inside her belly!! Muscles and joints loosen up, blood pressure changes, and a variety of other wonderous adaptations!
Of course the effects of these wonderous adaptations may not seem quite so wonderous when she's short of breath, have acid reflux, or her back, hips and pelvis become so sore and achey she finds usual day to day activities an extreme challenge ;-/
Again the good news is that your pregnancy yoga teacher has undergone extensive training in all of these areas, so that the physical postures during the practice will be completely safe as different options are goven for various conditions, and abilties - and she can also expect to feel an MARKED improvement physically or emotionally in relation to the condition. Sometimes it's just being able to talk and share with other women, and sometimes it's about her learning to make allowances and take more rest - something you can definitely back up at home!!
(Getting a cleaner in at this stage is a smart move - and will really take the pressure off in your relationship after baby is born!)
Book onto an Emma's Antenatal Pregnancy Yoga Class HERE
Or find your local Pregnancy Yoga Class HERE
· Adams, J.D. (2012). Massage and other CAM in Pregnancy. International Journal of Childbirth Education, 27 pp37-42
· Babbar, S., Parks-Savage, A.C. and Chauhan, P.C. ‘Yoga during pregnancy: a review,’ American Journal of Perinatology, vol. 29, 6, pp. 459-464, 2012.
· Breedlove, G., & Fryzelka, D. (2011). Depression screening during pregnancy. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health. 56, pp18-25
· Curtis K, Weinrib A, Katz J. (2012). Systematic review of yoga for pregnant women: current status and future directions. Evidence Based Complimentary & Alternative Medicine 2012; Article ID 715942. Doi:10.1155/2012/715942
· Cyna,A. M., McAuliffe, G L., & Andrew, M. I. (2004). Hypnosis for pain relief in labour and childbirth: A systematic review. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 93, pp505-511|
· Newham, J.J., Wittkowski, A., Hurley, J., Aplin, J.D. and Westwood, M. (2014) Effects of antenatal yoga on maternal anxiety and depression: a randomized controlled trial. Depression and Anxiety 31: pp631-640
· NICE (2014) Intrapartum care: care of health women and their babies during childbirth. December 2014 clinical guidance 190.<<
· Salmon, P., Lush, E., Jablonski, M and Sephton, S.E. (2009) Yoga and mindfulness: clinical aspects of an ancient mind/body practice. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 16:1,pp. 59-72