Sunday, October 5, 2008

Yoga can reduce risk of pregnancy complications

In the study, researchers looked at two groups of women: One group practiced daily yoga, breathing, and meditation, while the other group walked for 30 minutes twice a day for their exercise. When the babies in the two groups were compared after birth, the researchers found that the babies born to women who had practiced yoga were more likely to weigh over 5.5 pounds at birth and less likely to have been born prematurely. Women in the yoga group also had lower rates of pregnancy-related high blood pressure, which can sometimes lead to pregnancy complications.
If you’re ready to belly up to the yoga mat, talk to your practitioner first to be sure it’s an appropriate exercise choice for you. Once you’re given the green light, select a yoga class specifically intended for women during pregnancy and taught by an instructor experienced in prenatal yoga. Such a class will avoid certain moves and positions that could be dangerous during pregnancy — poses that tax your abdominal muscles, for example, or that require you to rest all your weight on your stomach. Prenatal classes also work on breathing and relaxation techniques that may help during delivery — and who couldn’t use a little help when it comes to delivery?

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