Pregnancy and New Mum Yoga

Maria Oliver
Written by Maria Oliver

How yoga can help you during pregnancy and as a new mum

Pregnancy and early motherhood are times of massive changes, where women are reassessing their identities, their relationships, and readjusting to an ever-changing body. Especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic, women can feel vulnerable and look for reassurance amongst other women going through a similar experience. Pregnancy and postnatal yoga classes offer enormous benefits for physical and mental health during this life-changing time.

Physically, yoga helps to build strength and flexibility which helps during labour and childbirth, and allows women to rebuild strength and restore their posture after the baby is born. Being active can encourage babies to adopt the ‘optimal foetal position’ for natural childbirth, which is head down, with the spine towards the front-left of the body. But yoga is so much more than a physical practice.

The physical aspect of a yoga class

The physical aspect of a yoga class, the postures or ‘asanas’, reduce muscular tension in the areas of the body in which we hold mental tension, particularly the shoulders and the hips. A pregnant woman’s body is always changing: the tilt of her pelvis in late pregnancy increases the tightness in the hip flexors, and the additional weight of her growing baby and breasts can cause her to round her shoulders more. New mums spend the majority of their day leaning forward, changing nappies, feeding, lifting, holding, which adds to tension and rounding in the shoulders. Helping to release this tension can restore a woman’s posture after giving birth, as well as releasing the emotional tension held there.