Written by Lauren Gilbert from The Nurture Den
One thing’s for sure, especially at the moment – pregnancy can be tough! It has a profound effect on your body. We can ache in ways we didn’t realise we could ache; we can be more anxious about all sorts of things; we question our every move. Things are happening to us, things we can’t even see, but we feel the effects. This is precisely why looking after yourself is SO important!
If there is one thing you should do during your pregnancy, it’s keep moving. Yes, you might feel achy or tired, but by keeping yourself mobile, you will be supporting your body and preventing it getting stiff. Of course, this should be within your limits. For example, if you were incredibly active before pregnancy, you may be able to be more active within your pregnancy, however, if you were less active before you may want to pace yourself to begin with.
Yoga can be hugely beneficial during pregnancy. Yoga helps you to be mindful of your body, provides stretch, strength and movement within your muscles and joints, and supports relaxation. Through yoga we practise breathwork, concentration and connection. Often ladies tell me that they sleep much better after their yoga session, they feel it is their happy place each week to have some ‘me time’ and reconnect with themselves, their changing body and their growing baby. Yoga supports you to keep your body strong and therefore, supports you through birth and labour as you can utilise the upright, forward and open positions we use in yoga classes.
Within each of our yoga sessions, we complete a relaxation, allowing mum-to-be time to subconsciously activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) and have a lovely guided relaxation. Our PNS is our calm, rest and digest system where endorphins are released, and we feel great. On the flip side, is the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) – our fight, flight or fright system where our bodies are flooded with adrenaline. I completely understand that during these challenging and changing times, that it may be really tricky for you to regularly be in that PNS – it is for me too!! This is OK!! Please remember that. But you and your baby also deserve some down time, some time to relax and put all of this to one side. Whether it’s doing something that makes you happy such as having a candlelit bath or dancing around your living room to some great music, to following a guided relaxation, or doing some yoga and focusing on your body, now is the time to do it more so than ever!! Perhaps now is the time to look into hypnobirthing and how this can support you through pregnancy and labour.
I would be more than happy to chat to you about the sea of options (or lack of) out there for you during this tricky time.
Love to you all, keep moving and stay safe mummas!