For many mamas-to-be the first trimester is an overwhelming and potential nerve racking time. Our bodies may very quickly no longer feel our own as the influx of hormones make us feel and behave in ways that distinctly do not feel like "you." The first trimester can be rife with emotional ups and downs triggered not only by the every shifting hormones but also the realization and consequential mental gymnastics that come with even understanding that we are pregnant and what the means.
Not to mention the fact that there is all this crazy stuff going on in our bodies (we're growing a freakin' human!) and yet there is very little to show for it on the outside. In fact, most people in our life yet may not even know. Add on top of that the wonderful side effects of the first trimester: nausea, bloating, low back pain and exhaustion and its no wonder we can feel out of sorts for these first three months.
Exercise can feel particularly daunting that this time as we a) may feel absolutely terrible and b) may feel scary as we don't want to jeopardize our pregnancy by doing the "wrong" thing. Yoga can be so beneficial at this time to help us navigate the discomfort we're feeling physically and emotionally. We might however avoid it as we might be concerned about where to begin or how to modify our practice.
The absolute best thing you can do is to seek out a prenatal yoga class or a prenatal yoga video by a certified instructor who can help guide you based on your specific needs at this time, but these tips will help guide you both in those classes or if you're starting to explore on your own (just make sure you've got clearance from your care provider before starting any new activities or if your pregnancy is at risk in any way).
Here are some ways to modify your prenatal yoga practice to address those specific discomforts that arise in the first trimester:
Nausea (may show up again in 3rd trimester)
Ah the morning sickness of the 1st trimester. For some, the increased sense of smell due to rise of estrogen in the body, sensitivity to smells can trigger nausea. Some doctors also link it to increasing levels of HCG, but this has not been proven. Ways to take of yourself in your yoga class:
Enlarged and Swollen Breasts
Some people thing that breast enlargement old happens right before baby arrives as the body prepares for the production of mil, but for many the Increased levels of estrogen and progesterone cause breast enlargement and tenderness starting from the very beginning. Here's how to modify in your yoga classes:
Part of the fatigue of first trimester is due to the Increased levels of progesterone, but also keep in mind, the body is working hard! Growing a baby is tough work! Here's how yoga can support you:
The surge of estrogen combined with increased blood volume can trigger headaches for some. Here is how to modify your yoga practice:
Low back pain
Sometimes the hormones released in early pregnancy can cause low back pain, this is very different from the causes of low back pain later in pregnancy. But the great, thing? You can treat it the same with these yoga poses:
Oh the mood changes! I felt like I was on a constant happy/sad roller coaster on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. The hormonal cocktail of estrogen and progesterone deals us a big blow here around moods, but fatigue and metabolic changes can also impact mood. How can yoga help?
Wisdom and insight with a dash of humor to help guide you on your journey through motherhood.