Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Posh Mama, Zen Baby: Why You Should Sign Up for a Couple's Prenatal Yoga Class

by Sarah Davis

Prenatal Yoga for Couple's can be a great way to bond over a very serious topic, LABOR.
Shining Light Prenatal Education offers this class if you live in Pittsburgh.

Image Credit: Fit Pregnancy
On Sunday, Dan & I went to Couple’s Prenatal Yoga, or “Couple’s Connection”, taught by Deena Blumenfeld, at Shining Light Prenatal Education in Lawrenceville here in Pittsburgh and we LOVED it.  

Just as a non-preggy gal might expect, prenatal education classes can sometimes boring and can cover pretty intense topics but Couple’s Prenatal Yoga is simply a fun way to prepare for labor...together. It's a way to lighten the mood a little when it comes to something that might seem scary and serious while pretty easy and simple, in my opinion, learning techniques for getting through labor.  

Will men like this class? Ladies, you know this question pops up in your mind.  It did for me.  

First off, I just want to say that it's 2013, not everyone will have a male partner-- some might have a best friend, a mom, or a sister.  But, if you do have the father of your baby as your labor partner, you might wonder if he will have fun at a prenatal yoga class. I worried about Dan because he is a high-intensity (think Insanity or weight-lifting-combined-with-cardio) work-out kind of guy. So, I wondered if dragging him to a class full of pregnant women doing yoga poses might not be his “cup of tea.”

However, he loved it. He got right in the zone and went along with the meditations and routines.  He even said he felt more peaceful and relaxed after the class.  The class really did live up to its description of being a great way to bond, even if you aren’t familiar with all of the yoga poses. From attending this class myself, I can say that everyone was very engaged and everyone had fun. There are parts of the class that seem silly, like singing "Row Row Row Your Boat," while maintaining eye contact with your partner, but it's also amazing to see how much doing something like that, even if you are laughing, takes your mind off everything happening around you (like say, labor.)

Shouldn't I be taking more serious prenatal classes to prepare? From what I gathered from the class, fear can hold childbirth because it makes you tighten up your body and can make the natural process of birth harder. Think about how paralyzing fear and tension can be in every day life. So, it's very important to get comfortable with techniques that can lighten your spirit and relax you. If you have a partner who will be with you in the delivery room with you, it is important to know how to do this together.  So, alongside your educational prenatal courses, I think practicing specific ways of relaxing during labor ahead of time is extremely important. If there is a class available that builds a bond between you and someone who will be right by your side during labor, why not take it?

Some of the best ways to get rid of fear can be done with breathing techniques and laughter.  This class focuses on both. Deena even throws in a Kundalini Yoga exercise to release fear and tension.

Also, on a personal note, Dan & I start our four-week series, "Confident Birthing" on Wednesday night of this week, so I also am grateful to have had him attend a class ahead of the more intense classes.  The birthing classes are also taught by Deena, so it was nice for Dan to meet her and really get comfortable in the yoga studio before the information-rich courses.  In this respect, this was another reason why this class was so important to take. Whenever you’re comfortable, you’re able to soak up more information when learning.  

On a final note: if you have a man, or even a mother or friend, who will go to prenatal yoga with you, this is a great reminder that you and your baby have a great support system in place.

To schedule this course with Shining Light Prenatal Education, you can visit their website by clicking here. Deena's class is set to run again on August 25, 2013.

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