We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What are the Benefits of Yoga During Pregnancy?

By Bethney Foster
Updated: May 17, 2024

Yoga during pregnancy has both physical and mental benefits. Physically, yoga during pregnancy provides the mother with exercise that will strengthen muscles and flexibility, both of which will be helpful during labor and delivery. The postures and movements of yoga during pregnancy may also ease some of the discomforts of pregnancy, such as lower back pain and fluid retention. Yoga promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and creates an awareness of breath, all of which will benefit the mother during her pregnancy, labor, and delivery.

Some women report that yoga also helps to ease additional unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy, including fatigue and mood swings. The benefits of yoga during pregnancy may also extend past the time of giving birth. Some yoga practitioners assert that prenatal yoga may reduce stretch marks and help the new mother to get back into shape faster after the baby is born.

In addition to benefits to the expecting mother, yoga during pregnancy may provide benefits to the developing fetus. As yoga includes breathing techniques, more oxygen is supplied to the entire body during practice. This put more oxygen in the blood that is pumped to the fetus.

Women should consult their physician before beginning or continuing a yoga practice if they are pregnant. Although the benefits of yoga during pregnancy are numerous, some modifications are necessary. Poses that stretch muscles too much should be avoided because tearing or straining the muscles is more likely during pregnancy.

Any poses that are practiced on the back should be avoided after the first trimester. These poses may reduce the flow of blood to the fetus. Any poses that put the mom to be at risk of losing her balance and possibly injuring herself or the fetus should be avoided, or a prop should be used to ensure the expecting mom doesn't lose her balance.

Yoga classes designed specifically for pregnant women are available at many studios and gyms. A benefit of attending prenatal yoga classes is that the instructor is likely specifically trained for yoga during pregnancy. If attending a general yoga class, the mom to be should notify the instructor that she is pregnant.

How soon to begin yoga again after giving birth should be based on a physician’s recommendations. With vaginal birth, yoga is generally not recommended for about six weeks. If delivery was by cesarean, many physicians recommend waiting even longer. There are additional postnatal benefits to resuming yoga once a physician has released a woman to begin practicing again.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon261465 — On Apr 16, 2012

Eating right is necessary for the baby’s overall growth, but is there more that you can do to support her brain growth? After all, 70 percent of the baby’s brain growth occurs during pregnancy!

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.