Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can prenatal yoga help reduce the stress of giving birth?"
My mother says birth is the most stressful thing imaginable. I am 19 and 22 weeks pregnant. Can yoga help?
Yoga during pregnancy is becoming very popular these days. If you are interested in performing yoga while pregnant, you should first tell your instructor that you are pregnant. This will help them modify your poses. For example poses on the back should be avoided as these can decrease blood flow to the uterus. If performed carefully and safely, yoga can help contribute to relaxation and a sense of well being during pregnancy. It also sounds like this is your first pregnancy. Therefore, you should participate in some educational activities about childbirth, such as a child birth class. Most of the stress of pregnancy is simply from lack of information and knowledge about what is happening to your body. In a child birth classes you will learn all about the changes your body undergoes during pregnancy and what you can expect as the birth process gets closer. They will also discuss various birthing options with you. You should also talk about these options with your OB GYN doctor when you go to your regular prenatal check ups. Being able to talk about and plan how you want the birth to go before it happens will help you reduce your level of apprehension.