Pregnancy can bring a lot of aches and pains to our bodies, so an excellent way to prevent that is to do yoga and stretching.

Stretching can help pregnant women relax and prepare their bodies for labor. It is important to go gently and slowly into your poses as it is possible to over-stretch and cause further complications if done incorrectly. You can try out these poses to manage the pain you may be feeling during your pregnancy. 

The pose called Cat-Cow will decrease hip and lower back pain. This pose will also increase spine mobility, which will help prevent new pain. 

  1. Begin by getting down on all fours. Maintain a flat surface on the mat with the tops of your feet, shoulders directly over your wrists, and hips directly over your knees.
  2. Drop your tummy and arch your back as you inhale, but keep your shoulders rolled back and down and your gaze front and upward. 
  3. Exhale by pressing your hands together and rounding your upper back while looking in toward your belly. 
  4. Continue to move in a rounding motion on your inhales and an arching motion on your exhales.

The position Seated Piriformis Stretch is helpful for those with low back pain. 

  1. Place your feet flat on the ground and sit in a chair.
  2. In the number “4” shape, cross one foot over the other knee.
  3. Slowly lean forward with a flat back as you exhale until you feel a stretch in your lower back and buttocks. Instead of tucking your shoulders in toward your lap, try elongating your spine.
  4. Maintain this position for 30 seconds.
  5. Rep on the opposite side.

The Bound Angle Pose stretches your inner thighs, back, and neck. This pose is a great hip opener.

  1. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together in front of you while sitting on your mat.
  2. Grab your toes and gently pull them toward your pelvis.
  3. Take a deep breath in and sit tall on your sitting bones, not your tailbone. You don’t want your pelvis tucked in this position.
  4. Exhale and bring your knees to the ground. Maintaining a straight spine, bend at the hips and lower your torso to the ground.
  5. Drop your chin when you’ve gone as far as you can comfortably go.
  6. Stay in this position for 3 to 5 slow, even breaths. With each breath, softly lean forward, but don’t overstretch.

The Forward Fold pose is a great stretch for your hamstrings. Hamstrings often get thighs during pregnancy, and tight hamstrings can lead to further pain in other parts of your body, so it is crucial to relieve the tension. 

  1. Begin by standing on a mat with your toes pointed forward and your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  2. Slowly lower your hands to the floor while leaning forward with a flat back.
  3. Continue until you feel a stretch in your back legs. You can lay your hand somewhere that is comfortable for support, but avoid resting it on the knee joint itself.
  4. Maintain this position for 30 seconds.
  5. Walk your hands over to one side, then the other, until you feel a good stretch.

These are just some of the many stretches pregnant women can use to relieve discomfort. Doing these stretches throughout your pregnancy will prevent further aches and relax your body leading up to labor.