Karen Prior, E-RYT, LCCE, CD(DONA), ICPFE
Congratulations on your pregnancy!
Pregnancy is the beginning of setting a healthy example for your children. You can help make sure that you and your baby will be as healthy as possible by making some lifestyle changes while you are pregnant. Our first trimester class focuses on safe and gentle yoga based stretches combined with discussion of topics that are on your mind in the early in pregnancy. Our classes can be a great way to connect with other women that are making the same choices and lifestyles changes are you are. We hope that this community is a good source of support for you and your new family throughout your childbearing years.
Choosing a Care Provider
Just because your doctor is a great Gynecologist it does not mean he or she will be the best Obstetrician for you. Referrals from friends are also not guaranteed to match you up with the perfect doctor or midwife. It is important to interview care providers and fine someone that shares your beliefs about birth, someone that will support you in having the kind of birth experience you want. Ask your yoga teacher or childbirth educator for a list of questions you can ask yourself and your care provider to find the best match.
Weight Gain In Pregnancy
Many women are concerned about weight gain in pregnancy. If you gain between 25 and 35 pounds, about 7-9 lbs will be baby and the remaining weight will be for fluids and tissues needed to support the pregnancy. You will need to gain a little more if you were thin when you got pregnant. You may gain a less if you were heavy when you got pregnant. You will probably gain just a few pounds during the first few months, and then you will gain weight faster as your baby grows. During the last 6 months, gaining about a pound a week is about what many women gain.
Think about adding a few more fruits and vegetables and whole grains to your diet each day. Ask your doctor or midwife about protein recommendations. A good prenatal vitamin is a great way to supplement your diet but should not be depended on for nutritional deficiencies. Check your local health food store for a good food-based prenatal vitamin that you have to take at least two times a day. This ensures high bioavailability and faster absorption.
Importance of Water
Insufficient water intake can contribute to constipation, preterm labor, and miscarriage, and even slight dehydration can cause fatigue. You need a minimum of “half your weight” in ounces of water each day. As pregnancy weight increases so does your water requirement.
Nausea, Heartburn & Morning Sickness
Many women find that these digestive issues subside between 12 and 16 weeks when the pregnancy hormones level out. Talk to your yoga teacher and the other women in class to find out about natural remedies they have used to help with these symptoms.
Exercise In Pregnancy
Remaining active in your pregnancy can have benefits in pregnancy, labor and aid in a faster recovery from birth. Yoga is an excellent exercise option in pregnancy. Pregnant women would get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. On days when you are not walking or coming to class you can use our free yoga podcast available on iTunes.
Yoga can help to prevent and remedy the common aches and pains of pregnancy. If you have a preexisting injury be sure to discuss it with care provider and your yoga instructor they may have additional recommendations.
Preparing For Birth
Yoga can be an integral part of your childbirth preparation, in our classes you will learn labor breathing, relaxation and focus techniques that can be used in labor. We also recommend you take childbirth education classes as childbirth education and smart selection of reading materials in pregnancy can help you decide what type of birth you want. Check with your yoga instructors for a recommended reading list and list of local childbirth education classes.
Breastfeeding Your Baby
We recommend you attend a breastfeeding support group meeting while you are pregnant, this will allow you to see newborn babies nursing, hear real life stories from other new moms and connect with a community should you have questions after birth. Ask your yoga instructor about local groups or visit the La Leche League website (LLLI.org) to find a group near you.
If you have questions about yoga or any of these guidelines please contact a certified prenatal yoga teacher.
Mamaste Yoga™ salutes the mother in all of us and nurtures the mother who nurtures the child.
The exercises and instruction presented here are by no means a replacement for regular attendance in a yoga class. Always consult with your physician before beginning an exercise program.
©2003 Karen Prior, MamasteYoga.com