Pre-Natal/Maternity Yoga...Did It Help with Delivery??

Updated on February 08, 2009
T.R. asks from Saint Cloud, FL
10 answers

Hi all,

I am wondering if anyone tried yoga during pregnancy? I am due in June and my last labor was horribly long and very difficult. I was induced and was in labor for 92 hours, natuaral btw! I am high risk and my body has a lot of trouble supporting both me and the baby so I don't get out and I am getting nearly no excercise. I am concerned that once again sitting around is going to make this delivery hard on me and the baby. I was thinking of getting a DVD of pre-natal yoga and trying some of it. Of course I would ask my doc first. I was wondering if anyone else has tried yoga, did it work for you? Did it shorten or make labor easier? Any DVD recommendations? Thanks to all you wonderful ladies!


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answers from Tampa on

I did prenatal yoga in the beginning of my pregnancy. It really made me feel better physically. Unfortuantely, I stopped working near the end and stopped going to classes. I also moved and didn't really have space to do a video. So, I didn't do it near the end of my pregnancy. I would suggest taking at least one class, so you know you are doing the poses correctly. Then get a video to do at home.

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answers from Tallahassee on

I used the prenatal yoga DVD from Gaiam. It has 3 levels for each trimester of pregnancy, Since I have rheumatoid arthritis, I just did the third trimester level of exercises throughout my whole pregnancy. I feel that the breathing and strengthening exercises helped alot during pushing and my labor was relatively short. (could have been just good luck though)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Hi T.-
I swear by yoga during pregnancy. I did it right up until the very day I went into labor. It helped with all my aches & pains, the swelling & of course with my weight gain. However, I was not high risk & if I had been, I may not have been able to hang in there, since it wasn't a prenatal class, but a regular class with personalized modifications. I was attempting a natural delivery also & it went very smoothly until the midwife arrived & told me he was breech & I was already 10 cm! So, I do think the breathing, relaxation, meditation & key poses definitely helped to keep me calm & almost pain free during the labor. I also had a DVD on prenatal yoga & it is much more gentle than the classes ever were, & I have a prenatal yoga deck of cards that show poses & explain their benefit, which makes it simple to just get in a few key stretches wheever you need them.
Good luck to you. Just take it easy & start slowly.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

I did pre-natal yoga while pregnant with my first and Ashtanga Yoga with my second pregnancy all the way up to one week before delivery. Absolutely it helps!! It helps with controlling your breathing, connecting to your baby, becoming more aware of your body. I think going to a studio is better than using a DVD because you can also connect with other moms and many studios offer a "Mom and Baby" yoga class where you can meet those same moms who delivered. It's a great support group after the baby is born and you are ready to get out and do some light exercise after the baby is 6 weeks old.

Both of my labors were short. The first was 6 hours, the second was 4 hours. I delivered both naturally with midwives and doula care. And lucky for me my mom is a Lactation Consultant, so I had no troubles with breastfeeding as well.

I went to Full Circle Yoga in Winter Park. I'm still a member and now in the Ashtanga II classes. I love the instructors there. Susan teaches Prenatal and Mom and Baby and she is wonderful!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

Hi T.,

I am the owner of Stroller Strides in Orlando. I want to just say that yoga and exercise can be wonderful tools to help alleviate many of the complications women experience during pregnancy. I am a certified "Fit To Deliver" instructor, which focuses solely on prenatal fitness and preparing your body for the birthing process...and we are absolutely NOT allowed to work with high risk pregnancies. There is a lot that could happen, and standard rule of thumb is prenatal classes are all wonderful tools, so long as the mama is not high risk. Please check with your doctor before participating in any classes. Many instructors will take you in without requiring doctors permission...but you could be taking a huge risk.

I understand your desires to prevent a difficult delivery...but taking a full yoga class or even a full DVD may do more harm than good. There are very low key exercise movements you can do while sitting/lying down that will still help strengthen your tummy muscles and your "CORE" (the muscles that surround and protect your baby) as well as pelvic floor exercises that will have the same effect in preparing your body for delivery again. (**Never underestimate the power of pelvic floor exercises**)

Take it easy and focus on contracting and releasing your CORE muscles a few times a day. Play with the way you contract those muscles: Squeeze and hold, gradual squeeze and hold, pulsing squeezes, etc. Mix it up a big, but focus on hitting each of your muscle groups around your midsection (there are 7 of them!) ;)

(If you're a picture person...I recommend taking a stroll to the local bookstore and browsing through the FIT TO DELIVER book for some movement ideas).

Good luck to you!! I'm sure everything will be fine :)

B., Franchise Owner - Stroller Strides

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answers from Jacksonville on

As a yoga teacher I am a little biased, but I did yoga before, during & after my last two pregnancies & I feel it helped me get back in shape faster & helped me stay calm during the deliveries. I did not use drugs with any of my children, I focused on breathing & riding the wave of contractions, but I was also lucky to have relatively fast labors 4-5 hours. I felt that yoga also taught me to relax during the contractions rather than tense up in preparation for them. The idea is similar to when you are doing a yoga stretch that is intense like a hip opener or hamstring stretch. When you can focus on relaxing into the stretch it is a lot easier, you can stretch deeper. Sometimes you find that you were holding tension in places you didn't realize, such as clenching your jaw or furrowing your brow. Good Luck!



answers from Sarasota on

Yoga will be wonderful for you, and, yes, it will help with delivery. Also, find a homeopathic doctor or midwife. Homeopathy will help immeasureably with labor, delivery, etc. For some basic information about homeopathy, go to and read the chapter from Amy Lansky's book that is on the site. Then go to and see about getting a book about homeopathy in pregnancy, labor, delivery.

The very best to you and your family!!


answers from Orlando on

I 100% agree with what Bre said below. She owns Stroller Strides Orlando and I own Stroller Strides Winter Springs/Oviedo. You must must must check with your doctor before you begin any kind of exercise program. Research on pre-natal exercise has shown us so much in the past few years, the benefits can be incalcalucable but in high risk situations there can be far more harm done than good.
I am 37 weeks pregnant with my first child and have done Stroller Strides 3-4 times a week since the very beginning and I have been feeling great (aside from never ending morning sickness! agh!) but I am always sure to check with my doctor about any concerns we have together. I also have to say that your 92 hour labor story is a little scary! :}
I would be happy to give you some suggestions of things you can do but make sure you have approval of from your doctor before you do anything!

Hope that helps!



answers from Fort Walton Beach on

Hi T.! I did not do yoga with my pregnancy but I am a prenatal yoga teacher and have had great results with the girls who have taken prenatal classes. If you go to a teacher who IS CERTIFIED in prenatal training (very important) then the classes should be designed to help open the hips and pelvis, strengthen the abdominal walls while promoting elasticity. Also the same goes for the perennium area, so that you increase the blood flow to the region to promote healing in case of a tear.
The breathing taught in prenatal helps with alot of things as well. My concern is if you are actually physically able to do a dvd unsupervised. My recommendation would be to first try and find a good prenatal teacher (and ASK about their training) and go for at least a few classes so that if you choose to attempt a video at home you already know some things. I would prefer (as high risk) that you be supervised through yoga, but if not Shiva Rae has a great dvd for pregnancy that offers viewing 3 women at once, all in different trimesters. You follow the woman in the same trimester as you in the video. Feel free to contact me and if you would like a phone number, I'd be happy to talk to you in person about it to make sure you make the best decision for yourself and your baby!!



answers from Orlando on

i love yoga and did it while pregnant and used to loose the baby weight. it is great teaching relaxation, breathing and it keeps you fit. my labor was not that difficult but i am not sure if it was yoga or just luck.
get your docs permission and then try it, but try a studio to make sure you are doing positions correctly, i go to red sun yoga in winter springs and winter park yoga has prenatal classes. it's about 12$ for an hour class. once you know the routine then you can do alone at home.

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