Dr.Meghana Jetty Reddy – Consultant, OBG, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield
Pregnancy is a stage in women’s life where she changes both from inside and outside. These changes create complications in the normal life of a pregnant women and yoga helps an expecting mother to cruise through these hurdles and challenges.
Practicing yoga during pregnancy is an intricate physical, psychological, emotional and intellectual homework done by a woman to answer the challenges faced by her. These challenges are revealed by the state of happiness and stress while yoga is a dexterity to calm down the mind.
Every women during her pregnancy wishes to stay in shape and do what is best for her baby-to-be. Prenatal yoga is a wonderful way to do both. Yoga helps you in slowing down to connect with your baby and the transformation you are experiencing. One can always enjoy the many benefits of yoga even if you or a beginner in yoga or an experienced practitioner.
Yoga provides a great range of activity to unborn child and mother by numerous ways. Yoga soothes the mind, refocus the energy and prepare the woman psychologically for labour. Various asanas create more space in pelvis which eases the expulsion of fetus.
Motherhood has often been hailed as one of the most delightful and satisfying peregrination but it is not so without its fair share of tribulations. The grit and undying spirit of every mother who stands as the backbone of the family, the edifice of success of the posterity that she brings into this world, nurtures, nourishes, guides and educates!
The eager anticipation for the little bundle of joy indeed calls for celebration howbeit with some care and caution. As an expecting mother, one is steadfast in doing everything possible for the little angel inside to be healthy and safe. Doing yoga and prenatal exercises during pregnancy, along with balanced diet can ensure good health for both the mother and the baby. Gynaecologists associated with renowned hospitals like Columbia Asia, encourage pregnant women to practise yoga or other prenatal exercises under expert supervision to stay fit and healthy.
Exercise can lift one’s spirits and moods by releasing feel-good hormones like endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. Studies have corroborated that exercising during gestation lowers the risk of depression and anxiety and helps revitalize one’s body and soul. Staying active during the gestation period also helps to maintain stamina and energy levels. By alleviating stress and anxiety, exercising ensures that the expecting mother gets a good night’s sleep and thus keeping her rejuvenated. About 18% of the expecting mothers develop gestational diabetes which generally hit during pregnancy and usually goes away afterward. This occurs due to rampant hormonal changes due to which blood sugar levels shoot up. This, in turn, can lead to serious complications for the fetus.
Yoga, by strengthening the core muscles aims at the holistic well being of the expecting mother and her little one. Researches have indicated that practicing yoga may make parturition shorter and less painful. As a matter of fact, the right postures can keep common discomforts like back pain and gestational insomnia at bay.
Benefits of Yoga:
- Practicing Yoga regularly improves blood circulation thereby keeping one’s body agile and fit.
- The right asanas can relieve the strain and tautness around the cervix by relaxing and loosening the pelvic region.It also aids in reducing morning sickness, cramps, and constipation.
- Yoga and pranayamascan drill an individual to breathe deeply and unwind and calm down consciously. These can immensely help the expecting mother during her labour throes.
- Moreover, yoga asanas also facilitate faster post-partum recuperation. Yoga asanas like Marjariasana(cat stretch pose), Konasana (standing, sideways bending, both arms), Veerbhadrasasna(warriorpose), Trikonasana(trianglepose), Badhakonasana (butterfly pose), Viparita karani(legs up the wall pose),Shavasana(corpse pose), Yogic Nidra(yogic sleep) are extremely beneficial for to-be-mommies. Hot yogas, though, should be avoided after the first trimester.
- Swimming is also a remarkably beneficial exercise that helps alleviate gestational discomforts. Low impact aerobics too can benefit a lot during pregnancy by strengthening the heart and lungs and toning the whole body. But this should be learnt and practised only under the strict supervision of a certified teacher.
- Another extremely beneficial and convenient prenatal exercise is Kegel exercise which can be done anytime, anywhere, and the best part- no one would know! Kegel exercise-alternately contracting and relaxing the pelvic muscles- is performed to strengthen the pelvic muscles, which helps to ease labour and delivery. Studies have shown that healthy pregnant women who exercise during gestation have much lesser risk of preterm delivery and are more likely to have a shorter labour. Post-partum recuperation is also faster in active mommies!
- A mother is the foundation on which the society stands. So it is of utmost importance that she keeps fit and fine for the society to grow and prosper. So starting this Mother’s Day, let us all pledge to walk the extra mile to take of her, to bring a smile on her face, and help her stay fit and healthy, just the way she does for us!