The Risks of practicing yoga during pregnancy.

The Risks of practicing yoga during pregnancy.

Hospital in Kentucky, United States, have evaluated in a study which postures can harm the baby by concluding that many of these movements are not a problem at the end of pregnancy.


The study authors admit that yoga has many benefits for pregnant women, such as maintaining flexibility and muscle tone, it also helps improve breathing techniques that can be useful during childbirth. However, at the end of pregnancy women are usually warned against postures that force them to put the baby's weight on their backs, some of the referred postures includes “the position of the happy baby” which is also known as “posture of the body”. Some other postures that pregnant women are warned against includes the “downward facing dog pose” these positions are prone to obstruct flow and circulation to the fetus and as such increase the heart rate of the baby.

To see if caution is warranted in pregnant women, researchers monitored fetal heart rate to a group of 25 healthy women during the last weeks of pregnancy in the development of 26 common yoga poses.


Fetal heart rate remained normal in all postures, and none of the women reported a decrease in fetal movement, contractions, loss of fluid or vaginal bleeding within 24 hours after their yoga sessions, according to the study published in the magazine «Obstetrics and Gynecology».



"Although it is a preliminary study, I found that there were no adverse changes in the welfare of the mother or the fetus in the 26 poses studied," said lead author Rachael Polis. "Positions suspected of being contraindicated - for example, upside down dog, child pose, happy baby and corpse attitude - were also well tolerated," he added.


None of the women in the study had a history of high blood pressure or other complications during pregnancy, and none had contraindicated to avoid exercise. The women were near the end of their third trimester, approximately between 35 and 37 weeks pregnant. Ten of the 25 participants did yoga regularly, while eight were familiar with yoga and seven had never done it before.


Each woman completed a yoga session with a certified instructor, with an obstetrician and a resident doctor in the room. They had resistance tests before performing the postures. Given the size of their belly, they did not do any yoga poses to bring the baby's weight to their stomachs. They also avoided postures that could cause them to fall or other injuries, and they were allowed to modify poses using blocks, chairs or the wall to support themselves.


The researchers recognize that the women in the study were usually of a normal and healthy weight , while more than half of pregnant women tend to be overweight or obese. In addition, yoga sessions may not match the duration or intensity of a typical yoga class.


It is also possible that there are positions that may cause problems during pregnancy that are not included in the study, said Kathryn Curtis, a researcher at the University of York in Toronto, who was not involved in the study.

In another publication of a study carried out by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 52 women who had never for once tried yoga were involved and were distributed to partake in a one-hour and one-time yoga class, or attend a presentation at PowerPoint hours on exercise, nutrition and obesity in pregnancy. In this study, there was also no significant change in fetal blood flow immediately after moms did yoga, according to Dr. Shilpa Babbar of the University of Missouri in Kansas City and colleagues. "Yoga can be recommended for low-risk women at the beginning of pregnancy," concludes the Babbar team.


As a pregnant woman who wished to continue her practice and love for yoga, you should consider the above factors which includes the styles, the competency of the teacher and the frequency at which you practice. There are a lot of easy to do yoga styles for pregnant woman that can help keep you far away from any complications. In fact, it is best advised that you use your time of pregnancy as a yogi to dwell on meditation and the mindfulness aspects of yoga practice.

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