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What’s best for mommy and baby: Yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a special event for women. Many women try to use yoga poses when they are pregnant. But not all yoga postures are helpful in pregnancy. Many poses are stressful and may be very dangerous for mother and child too. Yoga poses which are strenuous and rigorous should not be performed by pregnant women. This is because the pose might hurt the womb, thereby putting both lives in danger. Most yoga poses can be performed independently while some of them need supervision by an instructor. It’s always handy to hire an instructor while performing yoga poses. Instructors have a fair idea about which pose to avoid and which to try. Following are some yoga poses that are not recommended for pregnant women as they put a huge strain on their bodies and can be harmful for both mother and child.

Bow pose

This pose increases the pressure on the abdomen cavity due to lying on the stomach. No doctor will recommend this yoga pose during pregnancy. During second and third trimesters of pregnancy, this pose is very dangerous for the child inside the womb. For practicing bow pose balance may become more difficult for pregnant women. When the balance is off, the risk of falling and injuring mother and baby increases. Yoga poses like half moon pose or dancer’s pose can be performed instead to prevent injury. If by chance, a pregnant women practices this pose, then she has to consult her doctor as soon as possible.

Shoulder stand

The upside down position impacts the stomach muscles. This might cause shaking of the womb and may lead to damage to the child inside it. Doctors will not recommend this pose for any pregnant women. This pose is most dangerous during second and third trimesters of pregnancy. During the first trimester, a pregnant women can try this pose but under the strict supervision of a doctor and an experienced yoga instructor.

Cobra pose

During the first trimester of pregnancy, this pose can be helpful for reducing back pain. However, during the second and third trimester, the risk of injury to child inside the womb increases. Due to increase in pressure on stomach and abdomen, the cobra pose is not at all recommended for during pregnancy. Before carrying out this pose, consult with the doctor and then perform this pose only under the strict supervision of an experienced yoga guru who works with pregnant women. A woman can perform this pose after 4-5 months of birth of child. Alternate poses to the cobra pose are also not recommended because again they will affect the stomach of a pregnant woman.

Head stand pose

As this pose is similar to a shoulder stand, it is dangerous to preform during pregnancy. This pose is to be strictly avoided especially in the second and third trimester of pregnancy. Yoga hinges on the balance of the body. In the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, the chances of losing your balance while performing yoga increase because of the shift in the center of balance of the body. This creates chances of injury for both the mother and her unborn child. You can start performing this asana after a year of child birth since it helps in improving blood circulation. There are alternate poses like ‘standing side stretch pose’ and ‘spread leg forward fold’ pose which can help pregnant women relax.

Plow pose

This is considered as one of the best yoga poses for complete stretching of the body, but its not recommended for a pregnant women. During the later trimesters of pregnancy, full back bends, such as plow pose are contraindicated. Back bending will stretch the abdomen, and for pregnant women, the weight of belly can stress the spine. However, a year after childbirth, women can start with this yoga pose again. A tree yoga pose is an alternate yoga pose in place of the plow pose. Remember, this pose cannot be performed in any situation by pregnant women. This pose will seriously damage the womb.

Camel pose

This pose is helpful in the flow of blood to brain and spine. But over-stretching of the abdomen and stomach may be very dangerous for a pregnant women. No doctor would allow this pose in the period of pregnancy. During the third trimester of pregnancy, this pose is very dangerous and it can damage the womb. After a year of childbirth, a woman can start with this pose, but slowly. It is recommended that instead of twisting your body at the trunk, practice twists with the shoulders and upper back. If you want to practice this pose then consult your doctor and carry out this pose under the supervision of an instructor who has experience working with pregnant women.

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