Does prenatal yoga really help?
A letter to you from Laura Dobberstein, ex-aerospace engineer and yogi.
Dear New Mum,
Whether this is your first child or your fourth, you don’t need me to tell you that your life is going to change. You feel this already. You also don’t need me to tell you to embrace the change. The truth is you will sometimes, and sometimes you won’t.
What I am going to tell you is to allow the feelings: whether you are excited or apprehensive or both, all of your feelings are valid. Motherhood is a complex state of being. Some moments we are excited about transitioning back to work or staying at home, other days we dread it. Some moments we cherish our tiny babe and other times we just wish they would go to sleep. Motherhood is all of it. Make room in your life for these feelings just like you are making room in your house for the new little person.
This may mean reassessing self-care. We’ve all heard the platitude that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Frankly, it is true. You’ll soon find that waking up in the middle of the night or feeding a baby is better when your body is pain free and you’ve had enough sleep.
Take that nap. Have that massage. Have that coffee with a friend. Do whatever it is that you need to do to care for the caregiver (that’s you). It’s not indulgent. Your baby needs you to be physically and mentally operational and you need your village.
Yoga is a great self care option for pregnant and postnatal women as it reduces stress and inflammation in the body and strengthens the mind-body connection. It can relieve pre and postnatal associated aches and pains and prepare an expectant mother mentally for childbirth and motherhood. After the arrival of baby, yoga can help new mums get acquainted with changes to the body. Many postnatal classes offer the option of bringing baby along, thus giving mum and baby a great bonding activity. Furthermore, it puts you in the supportive company of other women experiencing similar life transitions.
What your body is doing is incredible and should not be underestimated. Celebrate it. Don’t feel the need to rush back to anything, including productivity. Wait for your doctor to give you the go ahead to continue with exercise. Reintegration is going to take time. Linger in this phase of your life as long as you have the capacity. And if that capacity is not as long as you like, go back to the start and allow the feelings.
Last of all, trust yourself. You’ve got this. And if you feel like you don’t have this, that’s fine too. Reach out for help from friends, professionals or both. This is your modern village.
Oh and do those pelvic floor exercises. That stuff is legit. ;)
Laura Dobberstein Yoga
Laura began yoga in January 2000 as a way to alleviate stress. Over the years, her practice evolved into a companion that saw her through times of both joy and great personal challenge, including multiple country relocations and two pregnancies. She holds a 200 hour yoga certificate from Yandara Yoga Institute in Baja California and additional certifications in prenatal, postnatal, yin and children’s yoga.
Laura has supported many Singapore-based women in their journey to expand their families through prenatal yoga. She believes that the best pregnancy and birth experiences are evidence-based and occur when the mother is informed and respected in her choices.
Her classes are always tailored to individual and group needs. Prenatal classes may include physical asana for relief of pregnancy related aches, breathwork, meditation, yin, restorative poses and labour preparation.
Contact Laura on 8571 1794, various locations including Beloved Bumps: 46 Kim Yam Road, #03-05, Singapore 239351.
Terra Luna Yoga Studio
Terra Luna Yoga is the first women-focused and trauma-aware yoga studio and therapy space in Singapore. Nestled in the heart of Bukit Timah, they offer Prenatal and Postnatal yoga, taught by qualified yoga teachers who are also doulas and childbirth educators themselves. Their birth-informed and evidence-based approach to teaching has helped to empower many mothers in birth and beyond.
Sarah Manning has over 25 years of international yoga teaching experience. She has taught yoga in Singapore, Australia, and China. Sarah is a yoga teacher trainer for the International Yoga Teachers Association of Australia. For the past 15 years, she has instructed yoga teachers on topics that include pre- and post-natal, back care, and yin yoga. Currently, she teaches prenatal, postnatal and private classes at Como Shambhala Urban Escape; Yin and Qigong for Canvass Yoga Studio; Qigong and yoga for fertility for Optimal Reproductive Health and Be Natural; and Private classes in yoga therapy specific for body rebuild after baby to avoid or support back issues postnatally.
Contact Sarah on 8161 9580, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ashley Davies | Sacred Funk Yoga
Ashley discovered yoga in 1998. Her journey continued with completion of her first 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2003 and then became a Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher in 2005. Recognising her passion, Ashley attended her second prenatal training in 2012 with Mindful Birth. She specialises in supporting and empowering women throughout their pregnancy, birth, and beyond. Since completing Level 1 & 2 Insight Yoga Training with Sarah Powers, she has also chosen to specialise in Yin Yoga. Ashley holds a psychology degree and has completed trainings in Vinyasa Yoga, Kids Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Reiki, and MBSR. Her studies will continue in 2020 as she pursues a Yoga Medicine Certification. With 20 years of experience, Ashley assumes the role of facilitator with grace, authenticity, and integrity. She teaches with the intention to inform as well as inspire, and her nurturing positive guidance creates a supportive space for students to explore their practice. Ashley is the proud mom of Connor (9) and Abigail (6), both born in Singapore. She started her business Sacred Funk in 2008 and, in January 2019, opened her boutique yoga studio, The Breathing Room.
Nada Besir | Pure Movement Centre
As an embodied movement therapist for over 17 years, Nada draws from her global education in Pilates, Gyrotonic®, Nutritious Movement™ and Yoga teachings to facilitate the body into alignment, aiding in restoration and renewal. Teaching both private and group sessions from Core Collective Dempsey, Nada’s Prenatal Embodied Pilates Reformer classes are intimate and individualised for the mama to be. This mind body class aims to build strength, ease common pregnancy complaints, and teach movement and breath strategies in preparation for a positive birth experience and beyond. With three growing children of her own, two of them home births in Singapore, Nada’s adept knowledge in the rigors of birth, along with her pre and post-natal training in the UK and US, aims to prepare, educate and empower.
Inspire Mum & Babies
Inspire Mum & Baby is the only holistic centre with the widest choices for pre and postnatal mums to have better fitness and wellness. A women-centric centre, the prenatal clients can hop around different classes with the same package such as Aqua Pregnancy, easing tension in the water and relaxing the mind and body; Prenatal Yoga, providing gentle stretches and breathing techniques creating space needed for the growing baby; to Prenatal Couple Yoga for the couple to exercise and connect as a couple together; and Prenatal Pilates to strengthen the muscles needed from the increased weight and the changes of the postural dynamics. The postnatal exercises are fully customised and personalised to individual needs depending on whether a natural or caesarean birth. . The range of fitness classes help the mums to cover all aspects of their postnatal needs from cardio, to toning and stretching. Inspire Mum & Baby has assisted many postnatal mums on conditions such as pelvic pain and diastasis recti.
Anna Teh & Kaaveri M | Mother and Child
Mother and Child provides the most comprehensive support for expectant couples and new parents in Singapore, including prenatal and postnatal yoga, and prenatal and postnatal pilates. Their classes are gentle and controlled with specific postures dedicated to strengthening the body, sequencing of postures to improve circulation, and breathing techniques to encourage the body to relax and the mind to become quiet and focused. Furthermore, these friendly, easy going classes bring women together when they are undergoing the same emotional and physical changes, often far away from the support of their family and friends.
Amber Sawyer | Embodied Living
Pregnancy and postpartum can be such a potent time for a woman as she embraces change on every level of her being, as she steps towards the labyrinth of birth and motherhood, shedding who she is now in order to bring forth and take care of a new human being. Amber Sawyer, PhD, Founder of Embodied Woman Yoga, specialises in developing mindful and foundational yoga practices for expectant, new, and seasoned mothers, empowering them to find inner and outer alignment, connecting with their pelvic health, breath, body, mind and preparedness for birth and entry into postpartum. Currently, she serves as a birth assistant, teaches pre and postnatal yoga, as well as offers an Embodied Woman Prenatal and Postpartum Yoga Teacher Training biannually. Amber also founded the Embodied Woman Yoga Academy, which is a platform for courses, CEUs, Yoga Teacher Trainings and resources related to women’s health, particularly pregnancy and postpartum.