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Yoga Reduces The Labor Pain Of Pregnant Woman

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Modern mothers-to-be are turning to the 4,000-year-old practice of yoga to put mind over pregnancy matters as they strengthen their bodies for the road ahead. “There’s a level of comfort and presence women cultivate when they’re practicing regularly through their pregnancies, so the changes that come are not going to shake them,” Elena Brower, a New York City-based yoga instructor said in an interview.
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The founder of the Virayoga studio in Manhattan, Brower has worked with celebrities Gwyneth Paltrow and Christie Turlington Burns during their pregnancies. She also has developed the DVD “Element: Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga.” “It’s about teaching women how to safely strengthen their abdominals,” said Brower, herself the mother of a toddler. “And strengthening is complemented by learning how to stretch, so that you can be as limber as possible when that baby comes.”

Yoga can also help women to get to know themselves a little better. “You have a level of presence that allows you to ride the wave of the contraction/pain into another place. You don’t think intellectually about it. You breathe.” A study of 335 pregnant women in Bangalore, India, found that those who practiced yoga experienced shorter labor, less pregnancy-induced hypertension, and higher birth-weight babies than the control group. More than 11 million Americans are estimated to do some form of yoga. The name derives from the Sanskrit meaning yoke or union, and the practice strives to unite movement and breath

You may click to see:->Prenatal yoga: pregnant poses, great expectations

Source: Yoga.am. Dec. 8 ’09

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Exercise During Pregnancy Means a Healthier Heart for Both Mom and Baby

Exercise is good not only for mothers-to-be, but also for their developing babies, according to a new study by researchers from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.

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Maternal exercise during pregnancy may have a beneficial effect on fetal cardiac programming by reducing fetal heart rate and increasing heart rate variability. Researchers studied fetal heart rates with magnetocardiography (MCG), a safe, non-invasive method used to record the magnetic field surrounding the electrical currents generated by the fetal heart and nervous system.

There were significantly lower heart rates among fetuses that had been exposed to maternal exercise. The heart rates among non-exposed fetuses were higher, regardless of the fetal activity or the gestational age.

The researchers concluded that exercising during pregnancy can benefit a mother’s own heart and her developing baby’s heart as well.
Sources:
Science Daily April 10, 2008
121st annual meeting of the American Physiological Society April 5-9, 2008, San Diego, CA