4 Reasons to Do Prenatal Yoga

Want to have a healthier, less stressful pregnancy? You might not have to look any further than your local yoga studio. Prenatal yoga classes help women in all stages of pregnancy participate in a healthy and safe exercise regimen. These specially designed classes teach breathing and meditation techniques, provide support for stressed moms-to-be and use asanas (yoga poses) that help expectant mothers build strength and stamina.

Pregnancy yoga teachers also avoid poses that may be risky for moms and design classes for all women, even those who have never done yoga before. If you currently practice yoga, be sure to tell your yogi that you are expecting so that he or she can help you stay safe.

New studies continue to reveal the benefits of prenatal yoga. So, with your doctor’s approval, unroll that mat, breathe deeply and get ready. After practicing yoga while you’re pregnant, you might experience:

Exercise leads to better sleep

Many pregnant women experience sleep problems that make dealing with the physical symptoms of pregnancy more difficult. However, exercising while pregnant can help you achieve better sleep. Yoga, for instance, reinforces natural circadian rhythms. Our bodies follow these rhythms to determine when we should be awake and when we should be asleep. By keeping to this rhythm, you may find you fall asleep more easily.

Yoga decreases Stress

Throughout a yoga class, you are encouraged to center your mind and focus on your breathing, clearing away stressful or anxious thoughts. Research shows that after a yoga class, pregnant women have fewer stress hormones like cortisol in their bodies. Breathing and meditation techniques can also be used outside of class to help you cope with a difficult pregnancy or work through pain during labor.

Research also reveals yoga can reduce symptoms of depression during pregnancy. Depression is associated with a higher risk of pre-term labor and low birth weight, so it is vital to reduce symptoms so both mom and baby enjoy better health.

Experience fewer pregnancy symptoms

It’s no secret that for some people, pregnancy comes with some unpleasant symptoms like shortness of breath, back pain, nausea, and headaches. Prenatal yoga classes can help you reduce these symptoms without having to rely on medicines. To help with pregnancy symptoms, you can:

  • Use breathing exercises to overcome shortness of breath
  • Practice relaxation techniques and certain poses to reduce nausea from morning sickness
  • Build core and back muscles to reduce back pain
  • Improve posture and stress levels to experience fewer headaches

Prenatal yoga eases labor and delivery

Yoga asanas build strength and flexibility throughout your body. During yoga for pregnancy, you focus on asanas that assist with labor and delivery. These asanas help the muscles in your hips, abdomen and back grow stronger and have better endurance for a more comfortable, faster labor and delivery. You can also use breathing exercises you learned to get through the pain of contractions.

Contact WCF to schedule an appointment on any questions or concerns you may have regarding exercise, health, and pregnancy.

Pregnant in Florida: Ways to Keep Cool

Pregnancy can leave you sweaty, even on the chilliest days. The extra weight, the hormones, and the slightly higher body temperature all contribute to more sweat. As if that wasn’t enough, another hot and humid Florida summer is upon us. Whether you’re sporting a small second-trimester bump or are ready to give birth any minute, doctors at Women’s Care Florida suggest women try out these techniques to stay cool when pregnant in Florida:

Drink Plenty of Fluids

When you sweat a lot, your body quickly loses fluids it needs, leading to dehydration. Talk to your doctor about how much water you should drink throughout the day since dehydration can raise your risk for preterm labor. Keep a bottle of cool water with you all day to stay hydrated, lower your body temperature, and improve your summer health. You know you are drinking enough when your urine is pale yellow or clear.

Just Avoid the Heat

Staying in air-conditioned spaces is the best way to keep cool while pregnant in Florida, especially when temperatures soar over 90 degrees. If you love the beach and can’t stay away, we suggest visiting in the mornings or evenings when it is cooler, and the sun is less intense. Avoid being outside between 10 am and 4 pm. When you are outdoors, seek shade or stay under a beach umbrella.

Choose a Cool Wardrobe

A summer pregnancy does not mean you need to cover up your bump with lots of layers. Light-colored, loose clothing can help you stay cool and prevent the discomfort of clothes sticking to your body. Breathable dresses in cotton or linen are some of the best choices to keep you comfortable on Florida summer days.

Go Swimming

Cool ocean or pool water can help you lower your body temperature and avoid feeling sweaty. The water can also help make your bump more buoyant, relieving strain on your back and muscles. Sporting a one-or-two-piece bathing suit also helps more of your skin be exposed to the air, which can wick away sweat more quickly. Just make sure to use plenty of sunscreen, we suggest SPF 35 or higher.

If you don’t have access to a beach or pool, taking frequent cold showers is an excellent alternative to stay cool and get rid of excess sweat.

Enjoy a Fruit Smoothie

One sweet way to keep cool when pregnant in Florida is by enjoying an icy fruit smoothie. They have three significant benefits: they cool you down, keep you hydrated, and give you get the essential nutrients you and your baby need. For even more pregnancy nutrition benefits, mix in a little kale, spinach, or Greek yogurt. You may also find that eating smaller, lighter meals helps you stay cooler. For instance, instead of three regular meals, you may choose to have five smaller ones spread throughout the day.

Have more questions about maternity health? Reach out to an OB/GYN at Women’s Care Florida to make sure you’re in tip-top shape for summer.