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Will Doing Yoga Hurt My Baby?

Yoga has proven to do the opposite, improving conditions for both mother and child during pregnancy. Maternal stress during pregnancy can lead to negative effects on the unborn child, and yoga can combat that. Yoga includes different activities that maintain balance within a person’s body and mental state [1]. Different postures improve physical health, while breathing exercises and meditation improve emotional and mental health.

Another great thing about doing yoga throughout your term is that it can be done in the comfort of your home, alone, or with others. Some gyms offer yoga classes, where you can choose which instructors and time slots you like and stick to a routine. With technology today, it is easy to find a quick Youtube video, or an in-depth description of yoga poses and how long they should be held for. Going to a gym or yoga studio may be more difficult for some expecting mothers, so grabbing a yoga mat and some extra space on the floor is always an option.

Even though yoga is recommended for expecting mothers, it is also important to know the difference between yoga and prenatal yoga [2]. While pregnant, certain hormones in the body can cause muscles to loosen and become more prone to being injured. This means that it is more likely for an expecting mother to over-stretch, which can injure themselves or their child. Prenatal yoga is gentler on the body, as it has modified poses that help expecting mothers to avoid injury and discomfort. Certain poses that include balancing can be modified by using things to hold onto such as a nearby chair or wall, which helps with stability rather than flexibility [3]. This way, mothers can safely do their yoga stretches without risk of falling. All in all, yoga is recommended!

[1] Curtis, K., Weinrib, A., & Katz, J. (2012). Systematic review of yoga for pregnant women: current status and future directions. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2012, 715942.

[2] Holden, S. C., Manor, B., Zhou, J., Zera, C., Davis, R. B., & Yeh, G. Y. (2019). Prenatal Yoga for Back Pain, Balance, and Maternal Wellness: A Randomized, Controlled Pilot Study. Global advances in health and medicine, 8, 2164956119870984.

[3] Marlynn Wei, M. D. (2015, December 29). Yoga in pregnancy: Many poses are safer than once thought. Harvard Health.

Author: Kayjah Taylor

Editor: Sophia Galvez

Health scientist: Hira Mughal


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