My friend who I was pregnant with (she still is), bought me a yoga package for Christmas with the idea that we’d take prenatal up until our due date. I was familiar with hot yoga but had never practiced any other style, and to be honest, I was a little worried I wouldn’t like it and was pleasantly surprised when I did! Each week challenged me and helped me refocus and relax—both of which are luxuries I are hard to find during the emotional moments in pregnancy. I looked forward to every Saturday because not only was it beneficial to me & baby, but I loved getting to see the other mommas each week and hear about how their pregnancies were going!
My last class was my 36th week. I knew I was close to being full term and labor was much more of a reality than a far off idea of something that will happen one day. I was honestly getting a bit nervous. During the class we practiced some of the poses we’ve done almost every week but I practiced them differently, really trying to remember each one, focusing on my breathing and practicing sending my breath to where I needed it most.
The Monday following the class was when I started pre-labor contractions; they weren’t intense enough to make me stop what I was doing, but I was fully aware that they were, in fact, contractions. By Tuesday night, I was having intense contractions, and during each one, I applied the Ujjayi breathing I had learned. I’d count the number of breaths in and attempt to have the same number out. This helped me stay relaxed (as much as possible) and in control, not letting the contractions get away from me. Throughout labor and delivery I squatted often (my least favorite pose during class – ha!) which helped relieve some of the back labor I was having and once it got to the pushing phase I squatted almost the entire time.
I had known prenatal yoga has plenty of benefits for pregnancy and labor, but experiencing the benefits was amazing. I know taking these classes played a huge role in me being able to keep my all-natural birth plan and I will definitely take it again for the next pregnancy!
My beautiful baby boy, Harper James Falcon, was born Wednesday April 16th— 5lbs 14oz and 18.75in long.