During your pregnancy you probably heard a lot of recommendations for prenatal yoga. While it’s a major trend right now, it’s not all based on mindless hype. Yoga is an excellent way to reduce stress, and it can relieve many aches and pains by stretching the body where it needs it most. Believe it or not, those recommendations might last even after you’ve delivered. Many moms have been trying a type of yoga that involves their baby, too. Baby yoga is another new trend in infant health, but you should be very careful about how much you push your baby. Obviously, babies don’t need stress relief or flexibility, so the purpose of any baby-centered yoga should not be the same as an adult yoga class. If you do enroll your infant in a baby yoga class, make sure it focuses more on bonding and light stretching.
Studies show that stretches are good for a baby. It can help make him aware of his own body and could even contribute to making him walk and crawl sooner than he would have otherwise. Also, the time you’ll spend touching your baby and working with him in a yoga class will make the bond between you grow stronger. Better yet, you’ll meet other new moms in your area and you can start setting up play dates to socialize your little one and to get some time out of the house. At the same time, it’s important that you follow your instincts during any baby yoga class. Never push your baby beyond his limits, and pay attention to the signals that he might not like a particular type of stretch. Also, be wary of any harsh movements that might cause shaken baby syndrome, which could lead to permanent brain damage.
Baby yoga is great for new moms that want to spend time bonding with their baby in a social environment while also increasing his strength. Most of the classes also let the moms get a bit of stretching and exercise in as well, so it’s a smart fitness choice. However, you need to follow your instincts about any stretches that seem to make your baby uncomfortable. Don’t be embarrassed about skipping any of the activities. Always keep your baby’s safety in mind. So, as long as you feel comfortable with everything, you might as well look for a baby yoga class in your area.
Source: "Chapter 26: Baby Massage and Baby Yoga." Promoting Health in Children and Young People. Blackwell. Print.