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The Beauty Routine That Got Me Through 9 Months Of Pregnancy

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The Beauty Routine That Got Me through 9 Months of Pregnancy

Congratulations! You are getting closer and closer to that day when you will see what you’ll later call your "greatest gift". Many pregnant women will tell you that the road to mommy-hood has not been easy.

There were probably days when you found yourself just wanting to stay in bed because you felt blah. Or, times when you stood in front of the mirror with a long face because your favorite outfit was just too small for you to wear. These are completely understandable.  

All the physical changes pregnant women go through while their body shelters and nourishes their growing baby can be pretty overwhelming. This is especially true for first-time mothers.  

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Luckily, there are things like yoga available to pregnant women which can help make the nine months pass by just like that. In fact, yoga during pregnancy has become sort of the go-to beauty routine for a lot of soon-to-be moms.

What is yoga?

Contrary to what some people might think, yoga is not an exercise in the common sense like aerobics or weight-lifting.  

Yoga is truly a form of simple meditation which utilizes controlled breathing and body movements to achieve wellness and relaxation. Yoga is from the Sanskrit "yuj" which means to "unite or integrate".

In yoga, you learn to unite your body with your mind and breath through meditation, breathing and yoga poses or "asanas".

What is prenatal yoga?

As the name denotes, prenatal yoga is a yoga specifically for pregnant women. It is one way of getting much-needed relaxation during pregnancy.  

An additional benefit of doing yoga during pregnancy is that you keep your body fit and strong. Research has shown that prenatal yoga is safe and offers many benefits for pregnant women:

1. It helps you sleep better.

A pilot study on the effects of yoga on sleep and pregnant women show that mindful yoga improves sleep efficiency for women in their second trimester of pregnancy. The participants in the study were in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

It is very important to get a good night’s sleep when you are pregnant. However, many pregnant women have complained of not being comfortable in bed and consequently not sleeping well.  

The breathing and stretching techniques in prenatal yoga help your muscles become less tense and lower your heart rate which can aid you in falling asleep.

2. It strengthens your body for childbirth.

Prenatal yoga can train you to stay calm, especially when you are in labor. When you are in pain, your body releases adrenaline but less oxytocin, which helps labor happen.  

With regular breathing from yoga practice, you can relax even when in pain and focus more on pushing your baby out.

3. It decreases lower back pain.

The iliopsoas system or psoas is a muscle — the only muscle — that connects your upper body to your lower body. The psoas allows you to flex your leg at your hip.  

During pregnancy, the psoas shortens and tightens because your abdominal muscles stretch to fit the weight of your growing baby. This is the reason you experience back pains as your pregnancy progresses.  

There are certain yoga poses, like the supported pigeon pose, that can stretch your psoas gently to release low back tension.

4. It keeps you in shape.

When you become pregnant, one of the things you will probably do is eat…for two. Yes, you read that right. Contrary to what other people might say, you actually have to eat and gain weight for you and your baby. The important thing to take note of is how much weight you should gain.

Each time you visit your OB, she will check your weight. This is because you and your baby should gain a certain number of pounds while your pregnancy progresses.

During the first trimester, you should gain 5 pounds. For the second trimester, pregnant women with normal weight must gain 25-35 pounds. In the third trimester, you should gain about 10 pounds.

It can be so easy to let loose and eat during pregnancy. But many — if not all — pregnant women might regret doing so once the baby is out and it is time to start wearing those pre-pregnancy clothes again. Yoga can help in that department.

RELATED: How I Ditched My Old Clothes And FINALLY Loved My Post-Baby Body

Pregnant women — even celebrities — swear by prenatal yoga before, during, and after pregnancy. Yoga can help burn calories, build strength and promote flexibility.

There are various yoga routines that would suit what expecting mothers need. The key is finding the right fit for you.

Prenatal yoga has become not only a fad but also a go-to activity for pregnant women in this decade who want to have a sense of normalcy in their lives. The best yoga styles for pregnant women are prenatal yoga, hatha yoga, and restorative yoga.  

Hatha yoga is gentle and slow-paced, which is ideal for pregnant women as strenuous activities are discouraged. Restorative yoga has poses that help your body relax so it can rest, digest, and regenerate.

Pregnancy is one of the biggest and exciting times of your life. It doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience. Enjoy it!  

Activities like yoga can help you focus on the nice things about pregnancy like shopping for baby clothes, decorating the baby’s room, or just feeling the wonder of a life growing inside you.

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Donna Begg is an expert editor, a mentor, analyst, and a researcher.