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yoga and pregnancy

Yoga and Pregnancy Together Can Increase Your Quality of Life During Pregnancy and After

We offer a yoga therapy program tailored specifically to pregnancy at Femina/Fusion Wellness PT. At the end of this article is a link to more blog posts highlighting how yoga can mesh well with issues like pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic pain, and pregnancy.

Why Integrate Yoga and Pregnancy?

Modified, gentle, and restorative yoga practices can be a fantastic addition to physical activity during pregnancy. Yoga can also give an opportunity for mamas to listen to their bodies, gain stamina and the courage needed for labor and motherhood. Whether you start practicing yoga after you get pregnant, or you already have a practice, yoga also helps you to consciously connect to the process of nature and your baby and prepare you for your birth.

With guidance, safe poses can be practiced during all three trimesters. Studies have found that a yoga practice during pregnancy can help improve health for both mothers and their newborn babies.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a movement practice that incorporates movement for strength and flexibility with breath work and mindfulness for reduction of stress and tension. Yoga is used therapeutically for a variety of immunological, neuromuscular, psychological, and pain conditions.

Yoga increases comfort during pregnancy and makes for shorter and less painful labor.

Recent studies indicate that yoga may be effective in improving pregnancy, labour, and birth outcomes for both mommy and baby.

A systematic review by Curtis et al (2012) suggests that yoga during pregnancy can lead to better outcomes for pregnancy, labor, and birth. Studies suggest that a regular yoga practice of at least 3 times a week (during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters) increased quality of life for yogis during pregnancy, including reduced stress levels, increased aspects of intimacy and interpersonal relations, and decreased pain. Participants also reported improved physical condition and psychological functioning. There have also been indications that a regular yoga practice during pregnancy may make labor less painful and shorter.

During Pregnancy: What is Safe?

It is very important to only practice yoga poses that are safe for each stage of pregnancy. A trained yoga teacher can help create a personalized routine for you that is custom tailored for your body and stage of life.

Yoga Therapy at Femina Physical Therapy

Make an appointment with a therapist at Femina Physical Therapy to receive one-on-one yoga training, including a customized yoga flow for you and your body.

Yoga therapy at Femina PT will include:

  • A comprehensive intake evaluation
  • One-on-one yoga instruction and hands-on adjustments based on your body
  • A yoga program customized for you to practice at home to increase strength and flexibility where your body needs it

Here is a little preview of the types of poses that are safe during each trimester:

 

First Trimester (0 to 13 weeks)

Most experts advise against starting an active yoga practice (sun salutations, athletic poses) during this phase if you have never done yoga before. However, the most gentle restortative poses and yogic breathing can be safe, and can help with the nausea and fatigue without increasing the risk of miscarriage.

For those who have an existing strong yoga practice, modifications are still needed during this period. Do not practice certain backbends (wheel or upward-facing bow pose), inversions, twists, or jumps during the first trimester.

Second Trimester (14 to 28 weeks)

For most women, it is safe to start an active, modified yoga practice in the second trimester. A modified yoga practice designed for pregnancy can help the body gain strength and flexibility in the right places to prepare for carrying a growing baby, as well as making labor, delivery, and recovery easier.

Linking movement to breath will help decrease stress, while longer holds in strengthening positions build stamina, muscle tone, correct alignment, and increase joint mobility and stability.

Third Trimester (29 to 40 weeks)

Yoga postures for the third trimester concentrate on issues such as balance, reduction of low back pain, pelvic floor flexibility and strength, and stabilization of loose joints, including the sacroiliac (SI) joints. Breathing techniques will also be emphasized which can be used during labor and delivery.

For more articles about how yoga can benefit your overall health, click here.


Resources
:

Curtis, Aliza Weinrib, and Joel Katz, “Systematic Review of Yoga for Pregnant Women: Current Status and Future Directions,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2012, Article ID 715942, 13 pages, 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/715942. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/715942/

Felder, L. “Prenatal Yoga Poses For Each Trimester,” Yoga Joural website. https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/yoga-for-moms-to-be

**This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.**

What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by R.D., age 38

"I had a severe tear during childbirth that was not stitched together correctly and therefore healed poorly. Even after having a surgery a year later to remove the scar tissue, I was still having pain, and no one could explain why -- there was no overt 'reason' to explain the pain. I had tried other 'specialists' and even saw another physical therapist who had me do hip / leg stretches -- what a joke! I was about to give up and just 'live with it' until thankfully I kept searching online and found Heather.

Read more: Testimonial by R.D., age 38

Testimonial by R.M., Age 40

I can’t speak highly enough of the theapists at Femina Physical Therapy and how much they have helped me grow, discover, and love my body. I had had painful sex for my entire life, and didn’t know that there was anything that could be done about it. It was at the point where my husband and I were not having sex for MONTHs, because it was just too frustrating, and I hated feeling like I was the ONLY woman out there who had this problem, especially at my age. I finally brought it up to my doctor because I was turning 40 and my husband and I were barely having enough sex to conceive. And she brought up pelvic floor, PT. I didn’t even know this was a “thing”.

Read more: Testimonial by R.M., Age 40

Testimonial by Alexandra B.

Heather is without exaggerating AMAZING! After years of trouble with a certain part of my body, in no time, she made everything change back to equilibrium and to what would be considered normal. She explains everything in detail and therefore gives you a better understanding of why things are the way they are, and how you can work towards turning things around. I would highly recommend Heather for any type of Physical Therapy. She has created her own "Method/Therapy" through years of studying (with some of the greatest practitioners), practice and breaking down the issues of her past patients, enabling her to fine tune her own system. I'm so thankful to have found her, and I'm especially grateful for the quick recovery I've achieved, after years of distress. If you cannot afford her, I recommend you purchase her book. Although it may not be Heather in person, it can still help you to get on the right path to recovery!

-- Alexandra B., 5/20/2015 via Yelp!

Testimonial by Mary L.

I started seeing Heather to treat my Interstitial Cystitis in November 2016. At this time, I was extremely miserable, in constant pain, and felt as though no one was listening or understood what was going on with my body. I have just finished my last appointment and I can honestly say that my life has completely changed for the better because of Heather and her team of PTs! I live almost completely pain free, and when I do have flare ups, I am able to treat them at home on my own. I am so grateful that this office was recommended to me a honestly cannot recommend them enough!

Read more: Testimonial by Mary L.

Testimonial by Y.L. (mom of 2)

After having my second baby via C-section I searched for months to try to find help for my lower back pain and separated abdominal muscles. I finally came across Heather Jeffcoat via a mommy blog. I reached out to her via email and set my first appointment. My first appointment went amazing … she listened to what my symptoms, check my separation and explained to me in detail what the next steps would be. Not only did my abdominal separation go from 3 to about 1 -1/2 but my back has pain has significantly reduced. I’m personally recommending all my mommy friends to Heather!

Y.L. (mom of 2)

Testimonial by Lauren B.

Femina PT (née Fusion Wellness & Physical Therapy) has been such an answer to prayer, i'm so glad I found them! I've been struggling with vaginismus my whole life, but didn't have a name for it until about 6 or 7 months ago. Even once I did have a name for it though, I didn't know where to begin in getting help. My OB/GYN had me get a set of dilators, but I couldn't even insert the smallest one by myself. Most times I tried I just ended up frustrated and in tears. I felt really alone, like I was broken and didn't have the energy to keep trying. When I got engaged a few months ago though, I realized I needed to get answers so i wasn't dreading my honeymoon.

Read more: Testimonial by Lauren B.

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