Pregnancy insomnia is the bane of every expectant mothers' existence. According to the American Pregnancy Association, 78 percent of women have insomnia and other sleep problems during pregnancy, and inconveniently enough, it often strikes in the later part of the the third trimester. Though some of it is due to the fact that your body feels large, you just can't seem to stop peeing, your baby is kicking (and by this point, you're just plan sick of being pregnant), there is some relief to be gained from prenatal yoga.
A regular prenatal yoga practice, done at least three times a week, can help to ease and stave off pregnancy insomnia before it strikes in the wee hours of the night. Not only will an Om for Mom prenatal yoga class give you a challenging but relaxing workout that will leave your muscles feeling like they've worked and are ready for rest, prenatal yoga hip opener poses can ease lower back discomfort--which may be one of the causes that you're awake.
Learn to Breathe
Regular prenatal yoga practice can also help you hone calming ujayi breathing techniques (that gentle hiss you hear on the exhale), that will allow you to find some peace in the stillness and find some meditative relief, as you lie there waiting...waiting...not only to fall asleep, but to have that baby!
Be Familiar with Savasana
Om for Mom Prenatal Yoga always concludes with side-lying Savasana, and coincidentally, that's also a great position to assume rest while pregnant. Lying on your left side positions the body for maximum flow of blood and oxygen, while minimizing the weight pressed on organs. It can also help to ease gas, heartburn and digestion. Place pillows under your knees, and around your lower back and belly, to find a comfortable resting position that allows you
recently reported on a new study finding that women who struggle to breastfeed in the first two weeks after giving birth are more likely to struggle with postpartum depression
. For researchers, the study has sparked something of a "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" conundrum, unable to determine whether depressed moms have a harder time breast feeding in general, or whether the inability itself drives the depression.
In the study, "women who reported dissatisfaction with breast-feeding early on were 42% more likely to have postpartum depression two months after delivery compared with women who enjoyed breast-feeding. Mothers who initially experienced severe breast pain initially and at two weeks postpartum were twice as likely to be depressed as pain-free women. Depression, in general, has been linked to increased pain sensitivity, which may explain why depressed women have more pain while breast-feeding."
As a mom who breastfed for an entire year, I will be the first to say that I wholeheartedly believe in the benefits of breast milk. That said, I went into breastfeeding with a "formula is not an option" attitude. While my commitment to make it work proved valuable and kept me pressing through those first hellish days of burning, enormous boobs, bleeding nips and latching problems, hindsight is 20/20. Truth be told, I'm not sure that I wasn't a little too hard on myself. While many new moms bask in the joy of first time motherhood, I was EXHAUSTED, FRUSTRATED, and essentially, was a prisoner to lactation every two hours, for the first several months of my sons' life. I'm glad I did it now, but looking back, I wonder if I could have enjoyed those precious days a little more, and stressed alot less, had I just gone the way of formula.
The fact of the matter is, breastfeeding is not easy, and for many moms, it certainly isn't pain-free. Yes, it gets much easier in time, and like anything worth doing, takes some learning. Before you know it, "pumping" and "nursing" is second nature. However, I advise all new moms to go with the flow, and not beat themselves up if nursing isn't going as intended. Take advantage of the resources available to you, whether it is a lactation consultant, or new mom support group. If you can breastfeed, it's a great gift to give your baby, and its benefits last a lifetime. But, being a happy, loving mom is w If you can't have both, cut yourself a break and focus on what is best for BOTH of you.
When you enter into the later weeks of the third trimester, your doctor will start checking the position of the baby, to make a determination on when and (how) he or she might come out when it's time give birth. Keep in mind that a lot can happen in those last weeks--the first thing to note about this process is that anything you think will happen, can change on a dime! If you're told that the baby's head is low, it doesn't mean that you will have the baby early, or even on time (I can attest to that personally!) On the other hand, if you're told that the baby is breech (in other words, not positioned head first), it doesn't necessarily mean that it will stay that way.
If your baby is in a breech position, the doctor will continually monitor the fetal position towards the end of your pregnancy, and advise you on the progress, and your options. However, as you play the waiting game, there are few gentle prenatal yoga poses that you can work into your reportoire, that might help stimulate that baby into moving head first. Here is one to try:
Om for Mom Prenatal Yoga sessions always include a cat/cow flow, because it is a multifaceted prenatal yoga posture. Not only it is great for relieving lower and upper back pain, it can help to move baby out of a breech position. Find a tabletop position on all fours, spreading fingers wide or making fists to ease any wrist tension. On the inhale, round your spine high to the ceiling, tucking tailbone under, and dropping the head. Slowly exhale, pressing out the back body and releasing the spine so the belly is releasing towards the mat, head returning to neutral. Move through this flow slowly, guided by the breath, several times. You can also experiment with slowly and completely circling the hips in one direction five to ten times, and the the other.
Position A= Cow Position B=Cat