The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests that moderate exercise, such as prenatal yoga poses, during pregnancy can reduce back pain, help with healthy weight gain, improve overall health, and strengthen the heart. Benefits of doing yoga during pregnancy will not only assist with discomfort but also help prepare the body for labor and delivery. While staying active during pregnancy is important, there are certain yoga poses that should be avoided to keep baby and mama safe.
Yoga Poses Pregnant Women Should Avoid
Yoga for pregnant women is very popular, but certain precautions must be taken to keep mom and baby comfortable and safe. As the hormones relaxin and progesterone are released during pregnancy, muscles relax, and ligaments and joints around the pelvic area loosen. Additionally, you risk forming diastasis recti, a separation of the abdominal muscles, during pregnancy. This ailment will cause your belly to “pooch” out post pregnancy.
Prenatal yoga classes will automatically avoid poses that are dangerous, but we want you to be informed. The below poses are ones you want to stay away from during your pregnancy.
1. Poses that compress the belly
Prenatal-safe yoga poses are meant to make room for your baby and your changing body. Yoga poses that compress the belly too much can cause circulation issues for your baby. Avoid poses such as:
2. Poses that start and/or end in a prone position
While prone (belly-down) yoga poses might be comfortable for you early in your pregnancy, these poses might be more uncomfortable into your second and third trimesters. While lying on your stomach isn’t likely to cause any injuries to you or your baby, it may be better to stay safe and avoid or modify belly-down poses. Such poses include:
3. Poses that go into extreme stretches
With increased relaxin in your body, your ligaments are already relaxed and your muscles are already stretching. You want to avoid poses that involve extreme stretching as these can lead to ligament pulls or joint instability. These poses include:
- Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle)
- Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose)
- Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
- Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
During pregnancy, your center of gravity shifts, making inverted poses more difficult. As you enter your third trimester you should avoid inverted poses altogether.
Prenatal yoga classes will be the best option to practice yoga during your pregnancy. The instructor will be certified to teach pregnant women and avoid the actions and poses mentioned above. Cody offers a fantastic prenatal yoga program designed for each trimester of your pregnancy. Led by Cody Coach Briohny Smyth, the Prenatal Glow Bundle is a great way to stay active and keep up with your yoga practice during your pregnancy.