How to Prepare for Childbirth With Yoga

One Methods:Recommended Poses

The practice of yoga during pregnancy offers guidance through the practice of focusing on breathing and physically helping you to prepare for, endure and recover from childbirth.


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    Get to know your breathing. Breath awareness awareness By focusing on your breathing, you encourage your body to relax as to promote a feeling of well-being. Breathing awareness can also help lower your blood pressure and your pulse.
    • Start by sitting comfortably, either in a chair or cross legged on the floor. Close your eyes. Feel the rise and fall of your chest and the openness of your belly. Allow the belly to feel full and round and soft. As you breathe deeper, allow your shoulders and face to soften. Look for areas within the body that seem tense or fatigued and soften them with every exhale.
    • Deep breathing may help your body continue producing oxytocin, which helps your labor progress.[1]
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    Practice a few poses. Choose poses that stretch and strengthen your legs, your hips and your side body. Do not twist or put weight on your abdomen. Yoga's use in childbirth is about body-awareness. If you can find a class to attend, you should. Not only will you find some relief physically, but you may also make some friends along the way. If there is no class available, try some simple stretches that you can learn from a prenatal yoga book, or do an internet search. Find ways to move that feel good to you. squats Side stretches should feel wonderful. Roll your shoulders back and forth and do some neck stretches to each side. Do some standing forward bends with wide legs: keep your knees soft and hang forward from the hips, rolling up to standing when finished.
    • For some women, lying flat on your back puts pressure on your inferior vena cava, the vein that returns blood from the legs to the heart, causing dizziness, shortness of breath, and nausea. If you find this happening to you, avoid any position that involves lying flat on your back.[1]
    • As you get bigger, your sense of balance will be affected. Don't try to hold poses for too long and use support.[1]
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    Don't strain. In childbirth, it is important to learn how to relax as much as possible. Straining, even in exercise, is not helpful. Learn to relax with your breathing awareness and your poses in order to remain relaxed during childbirth.
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    End with a 20 minute relaxation. This is the most important thing you can practice for optimal mind/body health. This practice helps lower blood pressure and pulse, and is beneficial for swollen legs and reducing stress. Lie down on your side, close your eyes and practice your breathing awareness. If you fall asleep, that's okay! The key is to relax as much as possible and to get good at it so that you can stay relaxed during contractions. If you notice yourself becoming distracted by thoughts or noise, draw your awareness back to the breath. Stay here for 20 minutes or more.
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    Practice every day, even if you can only get in 5 minutes of quiet breathing awareness at a time. Remember that a contraction only lasts a few minutes.
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    Stay positive. Women have been giving birth for thousands of years. They did it and so can you!

Recommended Poses[1]

  • Cobbler's or Tailor's pose (baddha konasana):
  • Pelvic tilt or Cat-Cow - Helps relieve back pain.
  • Warrior
  • Downward-facing dog


  • Only embark on a physical fitness regimen with the consent of your physician.
  • This is not a good time to try ambitious poses like a headstand or shoulder-stand for the first time.
  • Positions that stretch the abdominal muscles (e.g. deep forward and back bends, deep twists) may tear and strain muscles because pregnancy hormones loosen other connective tissue in your abdominal area.[1]
  • Bikram yogaHot yoga classes are not recommended for pregnant women.[1]

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