I started pregnancy yoga with Tessa when I was about 30 weeks pregnant. I’d stopped going to the gym midway through my pregnancy and wanted to look forward to something every week where I knew I’d have a reason to stretch. Every week, the group all chatted about our babies and Tessa could finally join in after teaching pregnancy yoga for years, it was special sharing the experience with her too as Frances was also her first baby. The classes taught me how to breathe properly and helped me start to connect with my baby, which I was struggling to do previously.
A major benefit of yoga was helping me with my lower back, every time I would roll out of bed I would immediately go onto all fours and rock side to side to loosen up my hips and tailbone before I stood up. I had always planned before my labour that I wanted all the drugs possible, I just didn’t see a reason for being in pain if I didn’t need to.
When I went into labour at home at 2.30am, I decided to go downstairs and breathe silently through my contractions alone. The breathing techniques Tessa taught me during the classes allowed me to do this until my husband woke up at 7am, whilst on the way to the hospital at 9.30am and until I had an epidural at 12pm (which I’d always planned on and got lucky with being there at the right time!) My contractions never felt worse than strong period pains despite being in labour for 10 hours before my epidural - or maybe I breathed through them correctly!
My baby was born at 8.48pm after an enjoyable, pain free day. One of the healthcare workers who came into the room said I was one of the calmest people they’d ever seen during labour. I feel yoga contributed to my laidback labour and definitely helped my attitude and feelings towards birth.
I would recommend pregnancy yoga to anyone looking for an opportunity to learn techniques to help you meet your baby, to meet other pregnant ladies and for an excuse to talk about being pregnant (when other non pregnant people are sick of you talking about it)!