A prenatal yoga teacher can help you stay safe and avoid risky poses, like lying on your belly or flat on your back (after the first trimester). And prenatal yoga classes are a great way to meet other moms-to-be.
Can all pregnant women do yoga?
Yoga is safe for most women. But it may not be safe for you if:
- You’ve had a miscarriage.
- You have a health problem, like heart disease.
- You’re more likely to have preterm labor than other women. Preterm labor is labor that starts before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. You may be more likely to have preterm labor if you’ve had a preterm birth in the past, you’re pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets or more) or if you have problems with your cervix or uterus.
Talk to your health care provider before starting any yoga or other exercise program during pregnancy. If you were doing yoga before you got pregnant, tell your yoga teacher that you’re pregnant. Simple changes to your yoga routine can help you stay safe. As you get closer to your due date, prenatal yoga may be a better fit for your changing body than your usual yoga classes.
Is there any kind of yoga you should avoid during pregnancy?
Yes. Don’t do Bikram yoga (sometimes called hot yoga) during pregnancy. This kind of yoga takes place in a room where the temperature is set to more than 100 F. It’s not safe for pregnant women because it can cause hyperthermia, a condition that happens when your body temperature gets too high.
Where can you do prenatal yoga?
Your local yoga studio, community center or gym may offer prenatal yoga classes. If you want to exercise at home, you can follow a prenatal yoga video or book.
How can prenatal yoga benefit your pregnancy and childbirth?
Prenatal yoga helps you tone and stretch your muscles so that your body gets strong and flexible. It also helps you practice ways to breathe and relax.
Prenatal yoga may help you:
- Lower your risk of pregnancy health complications, like high blood pressure
- Relieve stress
- Sleep better
- Manage pregnancy discomforts, like backache, leg cramps and nausea
- Build stronger, more limber muscles that can help during childbirth
- Practice breathing, meditation and other calming methods that may help you cope with labor pain and contractions
What are warning signs to stop doing yoga and call your provider?
If you have any of these signs or symptoms, stop what you’re doing and call your heath provider right away:
- Bleeding or fluid leaking from your vagina
- Trouble breathing
- Chest pain
- Muscle weakness
- Calf pain or swelling
- Your baby is moving less
Call your provider if you have even one of these signs of preterm labor:
- Contractions that make your belly tighten up like a fist every 10 minutes or more often
- Change in the color of your vaginal discharge, or bleeding from your vagina
- The feeling that your baby is pushing down. This is called pelvic pressure.
- Low, dull backache
- Cramps that feel like your period
- Belly cramps with or without diarrhea
Last reviewed August 2012
Signs to stop exercising
- Contractions of your uterus
- Feeling your baby move less inside
- Dizziness, chest pains or headaches
- Vaginal bleeding, or leaking of amniotic fluid