It’s probably safe to say no one looks forward to labor, but there are ways you can prepare for it. Prenatal yoga is one.
“It kind of creates this circle of community,” said Roots Prenatal Yoga owner Sandi Hoover. “It’s nice to be around people going through a similar situation.”
Angela Bohnenkamp wants to let go of anxiety about labor and delivery. “Even second time mothers admit it’s a source of anxiety,” she said. “You don’t have control over the outcome and you don’t know what to expect.”
Early in her pregnancy, Angela continued doing a lot of running and high-intensity classes. She came to Roots looking for a more nurturing environment. “I had some pain in the beginning in my hips and back but now everything’s relaxed and loosened up,” she explained. “It’s been the mind-body-spirit connection too, I’m present with this child in class which is miraculous.”
This class was also a big change for Alison Kurth – who’s been practicing all types of yoga since 2001. “At first it seemed a lot slower and less challenging, especially in my first trimester when I still felt pretty normal,” she said. “As I go on I realize…wow, I get winded so easily and now this is a challenge for me, so it’s really different.”
Sandi is a nurse-turned-yoga teacher. She started Roots after she was pregnant with her first child and couldn’t find any prenatal yoga classes. “The pace is one that really works with the pregnancy body,” she explained. “And having someone who is trained in this area can keep an eye on bodies and makes sure everybody’s safe.”
Safe doesn’t mean easy. Sandi constantly reminds us we’re preparing for labor. “When you partner movement with breath it becomes almost a moving meditation which is beautiful for women and that’s how they’ll birth their babies is breath by breath. I’ve heard from mamas who’ve had a pregnancy with yoga and without yoga that their births were easier; their recovery time was better, even that they were more accepting of their postnatal body afterwards. It’s powerful.”
That’s exactly why women like Alison and Angela are here. “Because of it I feel prepared,” Angela said “I can get through some of the fear and worry because of hearing in this class how to be ready and how to enjoy the experience because it’s such a gift and a special time.”