Pregnancy Yoga Care

14 October 2007 by
Editorial team

Pregnancy is the carrying of one or more embryos or fetuses by female mammals, including humans, inside their bodies.  Pregnancy begins with conception and ends with childbirth (Labor) or abortion (Miscarriage).

Symptoms of Pregnancy

  • Stoppage of menses
  • Increased weight
  • Enlarged mammary glands
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • An altered taste, and strong likes/dislikes for certain foods
  • A feeling of exhaustion and tiredness
  • Excessive giddiness
  • Vaginal discharge
  • A frequent urge to urinate
  • An increased emotional vulnerability
  • All of these symptoms do not occur together.

These symptoms help us to diagnose the case of pregnancy though a definite opinion cannot be given unless and until a physical examination (pregnancy test) is done.

Human chronic gonadotrophin (HCG) and other hormones like progesterone are responsible for the suppression of menstruation, and these changes. These substances are produced by the body to sustain the pregnancy and take care of the growing embryo. The urine pregnancy test relies on the presence of HCG in the blood and urine to confirm the pregnancy.


Is the process by which a foetus of viable age is expelled from the uterus. By a normal labour is meant a case in which the foetus presents by the vertex (head) and which terminates naturally without artificial aid and without complications. Presentation is not the only criterion of normal labour for even when the presentation is normal, complication may arise that carry the case at once into the category of abnormal labour.

Calculation of the date of labour

A calculation based on the date of the last menstrual period is the method in common use. It is the most accurate method. The average duration of pregnancy is ten lunar months, forty weeks or 280 days from the 1st day of the last menstruation.

The onset of the labour

 Is recognised by (1) 'painful uterine contractions'. (2) Slight uterine haemorrhage ‘the show'. (3) Commencing dilatation of the os and (4) Formation of the bag of waters.

Stages of labour

Human pregnancy is somewhat arbitrarily divided into three trimester periods, as a means to simplify reference to the different stages of fetal development. The first trimester period carries the highest risk of miscarriage (natural death of embryo or fetus). During the second trimester the development of the fetus can start to be monitored and diagnosed. The third trimester marks the beginning of viability, or the ability of the fetus to survive, with or without medical help, outside of the mother's womb.

 First stage is a stage of dilatation. This stage is preparatory to the actual process of birth. i.e. the expulsion of the foetus from the uterus. It consists of dilatation of the lower uterine segment and cervix. Its duration may be stated as 16 hours in the primi gravidae and 8 hours in the multiparae.

stage of expulsion

This stage begins at the time when the dilatation of the cervix is complete. It ends with the complete expulsion of the foetus from the birth-canal.

The 3rd stage or delivery of the after-birth

This stage consists of the placenta, umbilical cord and membranes (amnion and chorion). A certain amount of haemorrhage always accompanies the process of separation of the placenta. Expulsions are usually accompanied by a voluntary effort on the part of the patient and when the placenta appears at the vulva, it can be withdrawn by the attendant. A considerable amount of blood clot often follows it.


In addition, these postures are extremely good for the entire pelvic region, and are recommended for pregnant women
Meditation Postures
Ardha-Padmasana   The Half-Lotus Posture
Padmasana The Lotus Posture not recommended to women who have never practiced it before becoming pregnant.
Sukhasana The Comfortable Posture
If find earlier Postures a little bit difficult then, they can be replaced by Sukhasana, in which one sits cross-legged. Pregnant women should take care that they should never remain with the legs crossed for too long, so as not to block the blood circulation. Learning to perform these exercises with ease means practicing them regularly, patiently, and without forcing oneself. It is not possible to bend the trunk close to the thighs, or lie on the stomach during pregnancy. Certain yogic postures must therefore be modified, but this in no way detracts from their unquestionable beneficial effects.
Bhadrasana This posture is highly recommended. It eases childbirth and alleviates labour pains.
Utkatasana The Squatting Posture The squatting posture helps prepare the woman for childbirth, for it is similar to the position she will assume on her back during labor and delivery. this asana should be avoided as soon as the mother experiences the slightest feeling of fatigue.
Paschimothasana (Modified) The pregnant woman adopts a sitting position, and uses a scarf or towel to stretch the back and legs.
Janu Sirsasana (Modified) It is recommended to perform the asana without coming forward, keeping your back spine concave and front torso long during pregnancy (up to second trimester).
Baddhakonasana  Relieves menstrual discomfort and sciatica also helps relieve the symptoms of menopause. Consistent practice of Baddha Konasana until late into pregnancy helps ease childbirth.
Ardha-Halasana The Half-Plough Posture
Ushtra Asana The Camel Posture In the later stages of pregnancy, or in cases where even the slightest difficulty is encountered in performing the exercise, modify the asana by arching only the back while continuing to sit on the feet.
Vrikshasana The Tree Posture
Asanas for Mothers-to-be Having Practised Yogic postures before Pregnancy
Trikonasana The Triangle Posture
Ardha-Bhujangasana  The Half-Cobra Posture
Gomukhasana The Cow Head Posture
two simple Pranayama exercises, without retention of the breath, namely Ujjayi Pranayama and Nadi Shodhan. These exercises are recommended to pregnant women in lying position.
Anuloma Viloma should come before Ujjayee.

Regular practice of Yoga-nidra helps to create the most favorable conditions for fetal growth and development. A very unique characteristic of Yoga-nidra is 'Sankalpa', means a 'resolve'. The relaxed body and mind are creates ideal conditions for making a resolve. The resolve  is a short, positive affirmation of a statement, about what you want to achieve. Your statement may be something like autosuggestion they are simple to remember and recite e.g. ''I and my baby are experiencing immense joy happiness love and light" However these auto suggestions can be recited any time during a day.

The inverted postures like, shirshasana and Sarvangasana are very important to the health because they produce a revitalising effect on the entire body. Although recommended, these postures are difficult to perform during pregnancy, so avoid these postures.

The inversions have their own characteristics. Inversions are not recommended during the menstrual period This category of asana arrest the menstrual flow But when done during pregnancy they hold the foetus safely and healthily. It is greatly advantageous for those who have frequent miscarriage.

Therapeutics Yoganidra YogaNidra is a state of conscious Deep Sleep. YogaNidra brings an incredible calmness, quietness and clarity. It has great Therapeutics values.

Diet During Pregnancy

Though it is she who is supporting the child growing inside her, she requires a highly balanced diet,

The pregnant woman should eat little but often, at regular hours, through out the day.

Avoid too much fat, sugar or seasoning.

Avoid meat

Reduce consumption of tea and coffee should be reduced.

Include the foodstuffs that is vitamins, proteins rich .

Fresh fruit and vegetables

milk (a complete food), curd and cottage cheese rich in calcium.

Magnesium is contained in regular vegetables, other vegetables with green leaves, different varieties of nuts, and non-refined cereals.

Potassium is contained in treacle, whole grains, and almonds.

Not to be forgotten are honey, non-refined sugar, figs and dates, which all provide instant energy.'

Whether or not she follows a vegetarian diet, the future mother needs to absorb proteins, calcium, iron and mineral salts, which make it possible for the skeleton and muscular tissue of the embryo to form. She should take vitamins A, B, C, D and E, for these are essential. They are contained in the foodstuffs recommended above.  Know more about Diet.

Diabetes mellitus and pregnancy

For women with diabetes mellitus, pregnancy can present some particular challenges for both mother and child. If the woman who is pregnant has diabetes or develops diabetes during pregnancy, it can cause early labor, birth defects, and very large babies. Diabetes mellitus and pregnancy- Risks for the child: Miscarriage, growth restriction, growth acceleration, fetal obesity (macrosomia), polyhydramnios. Birth defects are not currently an identified risk for the child of women with gestational diabetes. Diabetes mellitus and pregnancy- Risks for the mother: Disturbed blood glucose levels. Hypoglycaemia can occur without warning.Treatment of pregnant women with diabetesBlood glucose levels in the pregnant woman should be regulated as strictly as possible. In diabetes mellitus type 2, oral antidiabetic drugs should be replaced with insulin.


Pregnant women must consult her obstetrician/ doctor before starting yogic practices.

Pregnant women must not perform too many physical or respiratory exercises in succession, but alternate them with other asanas in order to avoid becoming tired. After each asana they should relax for a moment, either lying on their back, or on their side, or in a sitting position.

Asanas should be practised under the guidance of an experienced instructor.

Kindly note though we have seen a lot of asana do not performed within the space of a single session.

Certain asanas can be customized as per need.


embryo - conceptus between time of fertilization to 10 weeks of gestation

fetus - from 10 weeks of gestation to time of birth

Ga Pw-x-y-z - a = number of pregnancies, w = number of term births, x = number of preterm births, y = number of miscarriages, z = number of living children; for example, G4P1-2-1-3 means the woman had a total of 4 pregnancies, of which 1 is of term, 2 are preterm, 1 miscarriage, and 3 total living children (1 term + 2 preterm).

Gestational age - time from last menstrual period (LMP) up to present

gravidity (G) - number of times a woman has been pregnant

infant - time of birth to 1 year of age

parity (P) - number of pregnancies with a birth beyond 20 weeks GA or an infant weighing more than 500 g

preterm infant - delivered between 24-37 weeks

previable infant - delivered prior to 24 weeks

term infant - delivered between 37-42 weeks

first trimester - up to 14 weeks of gestation

second trimester - 14 to 28 weeks of gestation

third trimester - 28th week to delivery

viability - minimum age for fetus survival, ca. third trimester

zygote - from fertilization until second cell division

full term refers to the end of 36 weeks (nine months) from the first day of the mother's last menstrual period — the end of gestation. If a woman gives birth earlier than this, it is classed as a premature birth.

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