Because pregnancy is a time when your actions directly and immediately affect you and your developing baby, we recommend that you keep the following cautions in mind as you exercise:
✓ Always do a little less than you're used to doing, and never hold your breath.
✓ Stay away from extremes in all the postures, especially deep forward or back bends. Don't strain.
✓ Avoid lying on your stomach for any postures.
✓ Steer clear of sit-ups and postures that put pressure on the uterus.
✓ Skip the postures that solely focus on tightening the abs; rather, work on strengthening your core in the context of more gentle postures.
✓ When a posture calls for a twist, twist from the shoulders and not the belly to avoid compressing the internal organs.
✓ Avoid inverted postures other than putting your feet up on the wall or a chair.
✓ Pass up breathing exercises that are jarring, such as the shining skull (kapalabhati) or breath of fire (bhastrika).
✓ Don't jump or move quickly in and out of postures.
✓ Be careful not to overstretch, which you can easily do in pregnancy because of increased hormone levels that cause your joints to become very limber.
ACOG recommends that a pregnant woman avoid lying on her back during exercise — and that includes Yoga.
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