Latest posts by Mattea Katherine Woods (see all)
- 4 Things I Did To Fight Fatigue And Gain Back My Health And Energy In Life - September 6, 2017
- How Yoga Helped Me Stay Healthy During My Pregnancy And Can Help You Too - August 7, 2017
See all stories by Mattea Katherine Woods
Pregnancy is a golden time that every mother-to-be should embrace. After all, expecting a newborn baby is one of life’s treasured moments. But as we go through this life transitioning event, all our life priorities will shift as well. This is an experience that you can either dread or cherish.
Most women focus on staying physically healthy by eating a balanced diet and getting enough rest. However, there are also other aspects of pregnancy that need to be addressed. In my case, it was my emotional stability, energy and spiritual health that I had to work on.
Like many single mothers, I had to go through pregnancy alone. Two years ago, I found out I was expecting a baby after I realized that my marriage was failing and that my career has started to fall apart as well. It was definitely not the best time to expect a child. Matters became worse and I ended up going back to my parents’ house.
I only tried yoga once when I was in college. I did not enjoy that single session and I never came back. But during my pregnancy after moving back to my parents, I had so much time on my hands that I decided to try prenatal yoga. After all, the studio was literally two blocks away from our home and walking that distance was a good exercise routine.
I signed up and kept attending that prenatal yoga class. Spending time interacting with other mothers in the studio sounded a lot better than sulking at my misfortunes at home.
It Awarded Me The Calmness And Awareness I Needed
On top of the recent failures in my life, the second trimester of my pregnancy was an emotional upheaval. I’m sure many moms will attest to the effects of pregnancy hormones to your mental clarity and mood.
As I continued to attend the class every day, yoga helped me steady my emotions. Losing the two most important elements in my life has made me unstable. Yoga has truly played a role in keeping me calm, centered and focused on my current goal in life – to be a good mother to my then unborn child.
It Taught Me Breathing Exercises
At first, I found the breathing exercises to be boring and unnecessary. But when I reached my third trimester, it benefited me in so many ways. In fact, the best benefit of all was alleviating my back and hip pains. This led me to conduct some research on the effects of deep breathing for pregnant women.
Apparently, long and deep breaths in yoga allow your body to take in more oxygen. When this happens, it stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system and increases the blood flow in your abdomen. This effect reduces pain and calms you down. It also benefits your unborn baby when you are at a time of stress.
I was in labor for three days and the breathing techniques I learned had definitely prepared me during contractions. We learned Lamaze breathing techniques in the class I attended and it emphasized the importance of breathing patterns to relieving labor pains.
It Lessened My Pregnancy Complications
While not all pregnancy complication can be prevented, I know my chances of delivering my baby without problems were greatly improved because of yoga.
The low-impact exercises and stretches had kept me physically fit and flexible. I was far from any risk of preterm labor and pregnancy-induced hypertension. My weight was normal and so was my baby’s even though I could have eaten better during those nine months.
There are many reasons why prenatal yoga is suggested by many doctors for helping your pregnancy. After all, they would not recommend any practice that can harm you or your baby’s health. Perhaps the most important aspect to remember is that you can never deliver a healthy baby unless you take care of yourself.
I’ve started practicing yoga when I was two months pregnant and switched to a more advanced class after I gave birth. It has also helped me physically by getting rid of my post-baby weight, and emotionally by keeping me calm, relaxed and focused.
All I can say is prenatal yoga and meditation has provided outstanding benefits to me and my baby’s health. I truly hope that every pregnant woman who reads my story will consider taking prenatal yoga classes as well.