Prenatal Yoga Helps Labor and Delivery

Prenatal Yoga Helps Labor and Delivery featured image

Prenatal Yoga Helps Labor and Delivery


Labor and delivery may undoubtedly be the most anxiety-provoking aspect of pregnancy. This can be especially true for first-time moms. Some women spend months or even weeks worrying about or planning for the perfect situation. Although, as history shows, when it comes to labor and delivery, there is really no way to predict the course of events. However, women who develop a yoga practice create a healthy mind-body connection. This internal, personal bond produces coping mechanisms that reduce anxiety. What’s more, in many instances, prenatal yoga helps labor and delivery symptoms. Plus, it empowers a woman to trust her instincts and listen to her body.

Science and Nature

A study in the Journal of Perinatal Education shows evidence that regular yoga practice during at least the last 10-12 weeks of pregnancy improves maternal comfort in labor and delivery. Fundamentally childbirth is unpredictable. The best-laid plans can be tossed aside instantly. Yoga teaches a mom how to stay focused and calm and present within the moment. And, what’s more, because the mother is focused, maternal comfort improves, thus facilitating the labor progress.

One Breathe at a Time

A woman experiences a myriad of benefits when she applies the breathing techniques utilized in yoga to labor and delivery. Here’s how. First, the synchronization of breathing awareness joined with relaxations may help relieve muscle tension and decrease the perception of pain. Second, movement, breathing and repetitive chanting increase endorphins and serotonin levels which may raise the threshold of pain tolerance. Third, practicing yoga transfer the pain pathways through the parasympathetic nervous system. That way, she may be in control and can actively respond to the unpleasant physical sensations.

Emotional and Physical Strength

The strategies learned in Prenatal Yoga help a woman emotionally and physically throughout labor and delivery. These techniques provide coping skills that reduce pain and suffering and optimize well-being for the process. Regular yoga practice increases a woman’s physical stamina as well. The physical discipline employed through the workout builds strength to help a woman be able to labor the physical demands of childbirth. Together these skills build a sense of self-efficacy. Thus, giving a woman the confidence in her skills and ability to perform this ultimate task.

Optimal Birth Position

Prenatal yoga asanas may also help optimize the baby’s position for birth. The poses may encourage the pelvic bones and surrounding ligaments to open and move apart from each other. Together this allows for more room at the bottom of the uterus in which the baby’s head may nestle. Performing some poses may even encourage a breach or posterior birth to right themselves. Therefore, the baby assumes the proper head-down position most hospitals require for a vaginal birth.

Encourages Patience and Peace of Mind

Despite all the benefits mentioned above, childbirth is complicated and unpredictable. So, while it is true that prenatal yoga helps labor and delivery, it also provides peace of mind. You should never feel pressured into feeling the process involves winning a contest for pain endurance or a fight against medical advice. The main take away is that prenatal yoga provides mothers the tools to allow them to be present in the moment and trust the process. And, more importantly, believe in themselves.

Ridgely Retreat offers a variety of prenatal services. From massage to aromatherapy to reflexology to prenatal yoga, we are here to help provide you with the courage, strength, and confidence for the journey of motherhood.