Yoga Doula | Birth Doula and Yoga Teacher

Published: Jun 27, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Pregnant women doing yoga

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A Yoga Doula is basically a Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula, or Full-Spectrum Doula who is also a Yoga Teacher, and uses yogic postures, breathing, meditation, and relaxation exercises to keep mothers-to-be healthy during their pregnancy, prepare pregnant women for labor and delivery, or help them to recover from the delivery process in the postpartum period.

You will find that they would offer certain types of Yoga that are geared to pregnant and postpartum women and their babies, notably Prenatal Yoga, Postnatal Yoga, and Baby Yoga.

Prenatal Yoga

Yoga during the pregnancy period, commonly called Prenatal Yoga or Pregnancy Yoga, is a rather well-known activity for pregnant women, and practiced all around the world.

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This type of yoga mainly consists of exercises that keep the body in shape and supply it with energy, give relief to the back, strengthen legs and pelvic floor muscles, and battle constipation, bloating, and swelling, among other conditions and discomforts related to the pregnancy period.

Prenatal Yoga is usually a gentle exercise and concentrates on yoga asanas (yoga poses) — sometimes adapted — that are specifically beneficial for pregnant women. Additionally, the practice may also contain breathing and meditation exercises to optimally prepare the mother for childbirth.

If there are no contraindications given by an obstetrician or midwife, Prenatal Yoga can be done during all months of the pregnancy. Nevertheless, if new exercises are added to the curriculum it’s always wise to check with a healthcare professional if they can be done safely, that is, performed without harming one’s body or the baby.

Postnatal Yoga

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After delivery, most women are exhausted and need lots of rest and energy replenishment.

Postnatal Yoga is one of the means to support postnatal recovery, and is in fact a type of Restorative Yoga. It can help loosen up tight muscles, release tensions, calm the nerves and mind, and replenish and rebuild pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.

Mind that some yoga poses and exercises are recommended in the postpartum time and others not. Hence, when starting yoga after childbirth, it’s advised to get a medical okay from a physician or midwife, and take lessons with a competent Yoga Doula or Postnatal Yoga teacher.

Baby Yoga

Baby Yoga training sounds perhaps a bit awkward, but then again, it really exists. Surely a baby cannot do yoga by itself, so naturally a Baby Yoga class is in fact an adult yoga class in which the parent applies gentle assisted yoga exercises and stretches to their baby.

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The baby or infant typically lies on a blanket in front of the parent while the parent (under guidance of a Baby Yoga teacher) applies upper body stretches, gluteus strengthening, squats, lunges, abdominal exercises on the baby, and so on. Sometimes a Baby Yoga class also includes Postnatal Yoga poses and sequences for the new mother.

In any case, during a session (or “class”) the baby is placed in a variety of “yogic” positions giving it quite some physical stimulation, which again helps to induce better sleep quality for the baby. A session can also be of help to alleviate the baby’s stomach and intestinal troubles.

As a whole, a Baby Yoga or Infant Yoga class is also a moment to build increased bonding between parent and child, which is good for both the baby’s and the parent’s emotional wellbeing.

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