Among the great ways to become better prepared for childbirth is prenatal yoga. It can also help you stay fit and keep you relaxed during your pregnancy. Lowering your stress level is good for you and your baby. If you're going to start prenatal yoga, you should learn about the benefits as well as keeping some important safety tips in mind. It's also a good idea to learn what's commonly involved in a class, so you can be prepared when you get there.

Benefits of prenatal yoga include a reduction in stress and anxiety, sleeping better, decreasing common pregnancy problems like nausea, lower back pain, headaches, and reducing shortness of breath. It can also help keep you from going into early labor, keep your baby growing properly, and reduce hypertension (high blood pressure) that can sometimes come from being pregnant. You'll also meet other pregnant women in the class, which can help you form bonds, share tips and ideas, and prepare for everything that being a new parent means.

Even though yoga is often a gentle form of exercise, it's still something you should talk to your healthcare provider about before you begin classes. Pace yourself during the class, and make sure your goals are realistic. There are some postures and poses you should avoid, such lying on your back or stomach for extended periods of time, or doing anything that requires twisting motions and puts pressure on your abdomen. Stay in tune with your body so you can avoid bodily stress and injury. Modify any poses that aren't comfortable for you, and make sure you stop if you're not feeling well.

During the class, there will be several things you'll do. Breathing correctly is very important, and you'll be encouraged to breathe slowly and deeply. Grunting or humming is also very common, and these can help you better manage your breathing during labor. You'll stretch gently, and then there will be yoga poses and postures to do. These will help with strength, but they're also great for balance and flexibility. At the end of each class, there will be a cool down period to help you relax before class is over.