Effects of Prenatal Yoga on Labor Pain

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Published: December 11, 2020

Going through labor is scary, especially for first-time mums. Because of that, many women are looking into options that will lessen the labor pains. Breathing is perhaps one of the best ways to reduce some of the pains during labor. However, not all people know how to breathe properly. That might sound silly, but most people simply don’t know how to breathe and breathe too shallow. Yoga breathing is even deeper and better controlled than regular, everyday breathing. And as such can help lessen the pains. On top of that, yoga can make your body stronger and more flexible which will come in handy during labor. But are the effects of prenatal yoga on labor pain that prominent? Should you pick up your running shoes and jog to a nearby yoga class right away? Yes and no. Hiring one of the best personal trainers in Dubai will certainly help your body prepare for labor. However, some expecting mothers shouldn’t be exercising. Even though pregnancy yoga can be helpful, it’s best to consult your doctor beforehand!

A pregnanty woman holding her belly.
Pregnancy is both wonderful and scary!

Yoga? Yes! But… Be careful.

Starting any exercise when heavily pregnant is risky. Especially for mothers that weren’t as active before conception. However, almost all expecting mothers can benefit from light pregnancy yoga. That said, it’s extremely important to consult with your doctor before starting any workout regime however mild it may be. If your doctor A-okays yoga for you, then grab your exercise gear and get to working out. Just be mindful of how you feel at all times. Your body knows best, and if it says no to a particular exercise it’s probably best to skip it. Never push yourself! Pregnancy yoga is about keeping you and your baby healthy and prepping you for birth, and not about creating more problems. And now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to some benefits of pregnancy yoga and the potential effects of prenatal yoga on labor pain.

The studies have shown…

There were multiple studies conducted that tested the effects of prenatal yoga on labor pain. And the conclusion is that, yes, pregnancy yoga definitely has some positive effects on labor pains! But are these effects enough to warrant getting up and working out now that you finally have some time to watch all seasons of your favorite show back to back while munching on some fine chocolate cake your considerate hubby has graciously purchased for you? The answer is yes, but let’s see why.

The effects of prenatal yoga on the intensity of labor pain

Some studies have found that there is a statistically significant difference in the intensity of labor pains between a group that attended pregnancy yoga classes and the group that didn’t. The women that attended yoga classes, in general, showed better pain tolerance and pain management. That is seemingly due to practicing exercises that prepared mothers physically and mentally for labor. That said, breathing was instrumental in lessening the pain! In conclusion, learning proper breathing techniques, and preparing the mind and body can definitely lessen the intensity of the pain. This was also shown by the number of women that requested analgesics. This number was significantly lower in the group that partook in yoga classes.

A mother holding her baby's feet.
Labor pains are very real for all mothers in the delivery room. Luckily prenatal yoga and excitement can lessen the pain!

Other benefits of pregnancy yoga aside from pain tolerance

It’s important to note that the studies have shown many more benefits of pregnancy yoga besides lesser pains. These benefits are also quite significant and thus worth skipping a few episodes of your favorite show. All jokes aside, giving birth is far from an easy task. And aside from proper prenatal nutrition, taking vitamins, avoiding harmful substances, destressing, and doing regular checkups, being active is one of the best ways to have as painless of a labor as possible. But what other benefits do practicing pregnancy yoga provide?

Shorter labor overall

One study found that practicing yoga shortens stage 1 of labor. However, another study found that prenatal yoga shortens 2nd the 3rd stage of labor. That means that yoga can potentially shorten the amount of time a woman that practices yoga will spend delivering. That might also mean that the labor won’t be as laborious since long labors are notorious for being excruciating. This alone warrants finding quality prenatal yoga classes Dubai gyms offer.

Fewer cesarian sections were recorded in the group of women that practiced yoga

Many expecting mothers would understandably like to skip getting a cesarian section if possible. Luckily, pregnancy yoga showed to be a good way of minimizing the risks of having to have a cesarian section. How and why it works the way it does? It’s hard to say. Still, pregnancy yoga proved to be a strong ally in the fight for a healthy pregnancy and smooth delivery.

Effects of prenatal yoga on labor pain are evident, but there’s more you could and should do

A delivery experience depends on so many things. Some, unfortunately, are out of your control. However, many are up to you to manage. If you don’t take a good care of yourself and your baby during pregnancy it’s more likely that your labor won’t be as easy as it potentially could be. That said, no labor ever is a walk in the park. Still, taking good care of yourself and your child is a must if you wish to have a smooth delivery.

Yoga is perhaps one of the best ways to keep your body in good shape for delivery. It’s not too harsh, but it keeps a body engaged without letting the muscles lose their strength and flexibility. On top of that, prenatal yoga can also alleviate some of the symptoms of pregnancy. It usually includes pregnancy lower back pain relief exercises that are much needed especially during the second two trimesters.

A woman practicing prenatal yoga hoping to test the effects of prenatal yoga on labor pain.
The effects of prenatal yoga on labor pains are positive. The same goes for alleviating pregnancy symptoms!

However, thinking it’s enough to simply practice yoga once a week and miraculously have an easy delivery while doing everything else wrong is absurd. Prenatal yoga can only be helpful if you also make sure to stay away from harmful substances, nourish your own and your baby’s body, stay well-hydrated, sleep enough and sleep correctly, and try to stay agile. When all that is already set in motion, yoga is just an added bonus. And even though there are clear Dos and Don’t of pregnancy exercising, exercising is one of the best ways to stay healthy during your pregnancy as long as you make sure to have regular checkups with your doctor.

So are the effects of prenatal yoga enough to warrant actually practicing yoga during pregnancy?

It seems so. Aside from the obvious effects of prenatal yoga on labor pain, there seem to be other important benefits. It’s important to mention that these benefits are not guaranteed, but if present can significantly change a delivery experience. In the end, it’s all about how your body works. Still, prenatal yoga can be of great help if done correctly.

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