Let’s start by congratulating you on the new little human! Healthy mom equals a healthy baby, so you’ll want to listen to your body over the coming weeks carefully. If you were frequently active before pregnancy, it is typically acceptable to continue staying active throughout your pregnancy, as long as you listen to your body and avoid pushing it to extremes. On the other hand, if you weren’t active regularly before pregnancy, now may not be the time for you to start. Before attempting to do hot yoga during pregnancy, here’s what you’ll need to consider and discuss with your doctor.
What is Hot Yoga?
If you aren’t a practicing yogi and are not familiar with hot yoga or the various yoga practices, here’s what you’ll need to know before you attempt a class. During hot yoga, room temperatures can reach anywhere between 90 to 105 degrees and with humidity in the room can feel up to 100 to 149 degrees. If you’re not pregnant and looking for a way to purge and detox your body, hot yoga is a great option. For pregnant moms-to-be? Hot yoga or Bikram yoga while pregnant is not the best option for you.
• Risks of Hot Yoga During Pregnancy
From the high temperatures and difficult poses, hot yoga or Bikram yoga can be challenging at any fitness level, regardless if you’re pregnant or not. When you’re pushing your body to new limits in high temperatures, your body struggles with heat dissipation, dehydration, and thermoregulation.
• Fetal Stress
Have you ever stepped outside in the middle of Florida’s summer heat? Even just sitting outside in over 90-degree weather, you’ll start to sweat. Add tough yoga poses on top of that? Your body can easily begin excessively sweating. Extreme fluid loss increases your heart rate as well as decreases blood volume, which can cause fetal stress.
• Neural Defects and Miscarriage
During the first trimester, your baby embryo goes through two stages of development, resulting in a fully formed fetus by the end of month three. Since many of the critical development happens during the first trimester, hot yoga during pregnancy can cause serious risk to your growing baby. When your body is unable to regulate your core temperature, there is an increased risk of neural defects and miscarriage due to hyperthermia.
• Joint Laxity
It’s no secret a woman’s body faces countless changes throughout pregnancy, and joint laxity is at risk when you attempt hot yoga while pregnant. The hormones you produce while pregnant can affect your ability to withstand normal tolerance levels prior to pregnancy, and as you get further along, your body and joints become more vulnerable. When you take these considerations into account and combine with the warm environment of hot yoga, which is designed to enhance flexibility, it can be easy to overextend yourself.
Alternative Benefits to Hot Yoga During Pregnancy
Even though hot yoga during pregnancy may not be the best option for you, there are benefits to staying active throughout pregnancy. Just because hot yoga may be out of the question, there are alternative yoga practices great for pregnant women, including prenatal, Hatha, and restorative yoga. These types of classes are typically safe throughout pregnancy, but always notify your doctor and instructor before any activity. Exercise during pregnancy has various mental and physical benefits to keep you and your baby as healthy as can be. Physical activity can help alleviate back pain, bloating, constipation, and even swelling. Mentally, you may experience better moods and sleep or see increased levels of energy, endurance, and stamina.
North Florida Ob-Gyn of Jacksonville Beach
Whether you’re just beginning your pregnancy journey and are looking to be as healthy as possible or you’re looking to exercise to help induce labor, always consult your doctor first. At North Florida Ob-Gyn of Jacksonville Beach, we understand pregnancy can be an enriching period in a mother’s life. As mothers ourselves, our all-female delivery team provides expert prenatal care throughout all of the physical and emotional changes this special time can bring for an easy and comfortable experience. To learn more about our staff and services, contact us today.