Prenatal Yoga FAQs
Yoga is a form of exercise that combines breath-work with movement. Yoga helps connect the mind and body. Prenatal yoga focuses on yoga poses that specifically designed for pregnant bodies.
Regular yoga may include poses that your supine (lying on your back) or prone (lying on your stomach) which want to be avoided during pregnancy. Yoga poses taught in non-prenatal classes may also include deep twists, abdominal exercises and inversions.
Prenatal yoga focuses on the changing body and growing baby and accommodates these changes. Hormones during pregnancy can cause joints, ligaments and muscles to be more relaxed and can cause discomfort in certain areas if stretched too far. A prenatal yoga teacher will also know how to modify poses for each trimester.
You are welcome to join classes at any stage in your pregnancy. Some students join during the first trimester, others second or even third. If you have a history of miscarriage, we recommend that you don’t start your practice until the week of previous miscarriage has past or your care provider’s recommendation.
As long as you are comfortable and your care provider hasn’t indicated that you need to stop or be on bed rest, you can still practice. Many students practiced right up until baby has arrived – rather that’s in the 38th week or 41. Melissa will help you modify if you need to.
Yoga has many benefits that are felt not only in the body but in the mind.
Practising yoga while pregnant can help with the following:
- Relief from common pregnancy discomforts
Prenatal yoga can help alleviate back aches and pains, constipation, swelling, fatigue and pelvic discomforts.
- Lower blood pressure
Studies have shown that after a prenatal yoga class, women have a lower heart rate and lower blood pressure. Walking also has similar results.
- Better sleep
Sleep is often disturbed during pregnancy and it’s not always because of the growing belly. Perhaps you’re a back sleeper or stomach sleeper and neither are recommended during pregnancy. You may also be having to get up more throughout to the night to use the washroom. Prenatal yoga can help prepare the body and mind for a good night’s sleep.
- Reduced risk of preterm labour and other complications
High stress levels have been shown to increase miscarriage and preterm birth rates, and yoga is a great stress-reducer. In one study of 335 pregnant women, half the women did yoga — including breathing exercises, posture positions and meditation — for one hour a day, while the other half of the women walked for 30 minutes twice a day. Though both groups spent the same amount of time active, the yoga group had a lower preterm labour rate as well as lower risk of pregnancy-reduced hypertension.
- Improve your mood
Prenatal yoga has been shown to reduce depression in moms to be. Yoga for expectant mothers helps destress the mind and release tensions in the body. You also learn different breath techniques to help calm you during stressful situations, including childbirth.
Yes, you can continue your exercise regime. You’ll want to make sure that you let the instructor know you are pregnant. Poses you will want to avoid involve lying on your front, lying on your back for long periods of time, deep twists and anything that doesn’t feel good in your body or makes you dizzy or nausea.
The 2019 guidelines from CSEP recommends pregnant persons should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week over a minimum of three days per week. Our prenatal yoga classes are one way to get exercise in. You are welcome to attend all three classes a week or just one.
Here at Padma Yogi we always include the following in our prenatal yoga classes:
- Breathe work
- Warm up – preparing your joints for the movements to come
- Standing postures including modified sun salutations, warrior sequence and balancing
- Longer held poses focus on opening the back, shoulders and pelvis
- Final relaxation including yoga nidra
Always listen to your body but if you experience any of the following, you’ll want to stop your prenatal yoga practise and seek guidance from your healthcare provider.
- Dizziness, shortness of breath or feeling light headed
- Blurred vision
- Sharp pains in the pelvis or abdomen that don’t go away
- Blood leaking from the vagina
- If you just don’t feel right
Yes, please let Melissa know and she will ensure that your practice is safe and may offer modification to poses based on the complication or condition.
During our prenatal yoga classes, you will learn techniques including poses, massage and breathing exercises that can help you manage contractions until you receive your desired medication. Prenatal yoga class help you get into a parasympathetic nervous system state.
If you know you are having an elective cesarean due to position of baby, placenta previa, prior cesarean or another reason, prenatal yoga can still bring a sense of calm to your mind and body. Caesarean is major surgery and you will learn breathing techniques, relaxation techniques and visualization techniques that can help you during birth.
Postnatal Yoga FAQs
It’s recommended 4-6 weeks after delivery. Please check in with your healthcare professional.
Up to 18 months of age.
No, you’re more than welcome to attend without your little one.
Moms feed and change their babies in the class. We also have private rooms available for changing and feeding.
Fertility Yoga FAQs
In addition to reducing stress levels, fertility yoga increases energy and blood flow, especially in the heart and pelvic areas. Yoga classes are designed to stimulate the reproductive system by focusing on the ovaries and uterus. Postures also help regulate the endocrine (glandular/hormonal) system.
Doula Care FAQs
A doula is a professional birth-coach who provides continuous labour support, both physical and emotional. Doulas stay with you before, during and after delivery, offering informational support at any stage of the birthing process. A postpartum doula provides support after the baby is born and this can include newborn care, care for the birth person, feeding support and light household work.
A doula is not a medical professional and doulas do not give medical advice, perform medical procedures and does not make any medical decisions on your behalf. Doulas have a lot of experience with birth and will help you understand your options, help you ask the right questions and will help you communicate them.
Midwives are health-care professionals who provide expert primary care to pregnant people and their newborns. A doula provides continuous care and does not leave your side during the labour or childbirth. Midwives have many responsibilities including performing medical procedures, charting and monitoring you and the baby—they cannot always be by your side coaching you through each contraction. Doulas remain by your side and provide continuous support.
No, not at all. Doulas do not replace your birth partner. We work as a team together and support both of you. During your labour the doula may give the partner a break, reassure the partner and provide support to them too.
That’s great. Doulas provide unbiased, evidence-based support. Doulas help empower you in your choices. Modern epidurals are gradual, and the medication can be controlled. Doulas will still provide physical support for comfort and positioning and continue to provide emotionally support you and your birth partner.
Selecting a doula is a very personal choice. Melissa is a professionally trained doula who are ready to provide support to you. Most doulas will offer a free meet and greet to see if you’re the right fit. You may want to interview 2-3 doulas to find one that is right for you.
Doulas are not currently covered by OHIP. Some extended health care insurance plans may cover a portion or all of doula fees. Please call and check with your insurance company to confirm. If you do get coverage, you will receive a receipt with Padma Yogi‘s registration information.