During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles and connective tissues are subjected to a lot of stress as the baby grows. As well, the lumbar spine (lower back) moves into a deeper curve as the pregnancy progresses, which puts strain on the spine and the muscles that support it. While some smaller backbends may feel good and be beneficial, deeper backbends like the one in the picture cause unnecessary additional stress to the abdominal muscles and connective tissues. This can increase the risk for diastasis recti, and round ligament pain.
Here are some suggestions for keeping backbends safe and comfortable during pregnancy:
- Focus on the upper back and neck
- Keep the bend small
- Focus on lengthening at least as much as bending, if not more
- Do not lay on your stomach or put pressure on the front of the abdomen
- Practice supported backbends, placing bolsters, cushions, blocks etc under the upper back to allow the body to achieve a relaxed state while stretching
If you are looking into taking prenatal yoga classes, be sure that the teacher you choose is trained and certified in prenatal yoga, so that he or she will know the best practices to employ during pregnancy. And stay tuned here for more tips and sequences to help you feel your best!