When I was pregnant with my first child, it was a huge educational experience. There was so much to learn about how to properly care for my unborn child (and myself) through diet and exercise, not to mention trying to absorb and digest all the information related to preparing for your newborn’s arrival! Now, when it came to the birthing process, as I started to formulate my birthing plan and consult my circle of friends on how it all worked out for their deliveries, I really started to think that I wanted it to be as natural as possible. So…of course the thing to do was sign up for a prenatal yoga class.
Now, I am not a “yoga” person… AT ALL! When it comes to exercise I prefer more active movements with loud music (to keep me awake and distracted), and I want it to go by fast! Haha! However, as I did my research I thought this would be the perfect time to give yoga a shot, because not only would it be good to help me and my body with stress, but it would also teach me helpful techniques for the natural delivery I was hoping for.
I took my first pre-natal yoga class of “Mamaste Yoga” at a yoga studio in Coconut Grove, Florida. It wasn’t bad at all, I had a great experience my first class in and I kept reminding myself about all the benefits of yoga when pregnant, especially when it comes to labor and delivery. I bought my own yoga mat and everything! 🙂 And, like I already mentioned, yoga isn’t really my thing, I had taken a semester long course while at San Jose State University, and let’s just say I was anything BUT hooked on it…so this was a positive return to a practice I had pretty much tried to leave behind!
Basically, we worked on different breathing techniques and focusing on ways to relax and really be in touch with the baby belly. It’s kinda nice too, because all the other students in the class are also pregnant, so they’re all going through similar body changes. One thing we discussed in between stretching and breathing is the “pelvic floor.” That’s another area we concentrated on and exercised. At first I was like what!?!?! But then I figured out that contracting the “pelvic floor” is just another way of saying KEGELS! ha!!
I continued attending classes weekly up until about my 35/36 week mark. I started around 24 weeks or so… I found that I definitely benefited from learning the (deep) breathing techniques and it was very helpful when it came to finding relaxation and getting my body to calm down, especially toward the latter weeks when you’re ready to burst and feeling uncomfortable in just about any rest position you can get into… Looking back, I also liked the stretching and meditation aspects of the class.
One thing you had to be mindful of toward the end of the pregnancy was the “squat” position, because in some cases, when you get into that squat, the baby can really “drop,” and the labor process can begin! In my case, no amount of squatting was getting my baby to drop and I ended up being induced since the ultrasound was indicating I had a pretty BIG baby in there. At the end of the day, I didn’t have the natural delivery I had hoped for…but it’s okay, everybody made it out safe and sound. And these days, I really wish I could have the quiet time to stretch, breathe and meditate! OHM!!!