Here is How Yoga Really Helps Pregnant Women Prepare For Motherhood

Not all women treat their bodies like a temple. Before pregnancy, some women treat their bodies like a lean-to in a shantytown built from aluminum siding. When pregnancy happens, a lot of changes happen quickly. These same women shop at Whole Foods, develop a stance on GMOs, and become convinced that non-organic milk is to blame for “kids these days” going through early puberty. They cut out alcohol, coffee, and soda of all kinds. It’s almost as if they (not that I know any of them personally) are different people. It might have something to do with knowing there’s a kid inside of them sucking down whatever noxious substances they put in their mouths. There’s nothing like that to make you rethink a package of pink marshmallow sno-balls.

And thus, the popularity of prenatal yoga. Women who have never worked out a single day in their lives show up at the gym, brand new yoga mat and block in hand, ready to attend class and hold their breaths straight through their ninth month. These women know the positive benefits of yoga for pregnant women. They’ve researched them. They’ve indexed all of the articles they’ve read while waiting in line at Whole Foods. There is nobody more educated on how to be a good parent than a first-time pregnant mother-to-be.

Listen: maybe yoga will help you with a few things while being pregnant. If it calms your fears about pushing a watermelon out of your nether regions, then fantastic. The real secret though, is that the benefit of yoga practice doesn’t really kick in until that kid is out of you and driving your crazy in the real world. That’s when you really need it. That’s when you’ve got to figure out a strategy for getting back to your classes before two years pass you by. 

Allow me to explain:

First, the Physical

You get to look forward to a weakened pelvic floor. Remember the bit about the watermelon? There will be some related complications to this physics-defying feat you’ve just performed. “Kegels,” everyone will say. You will begin to think millions of people are performing Kegel exercises all around us, all the time. Go to yoga—it will help you, both with the Kegels, and with the weakened pelvic floor.

Next, the Emotional

It is hard to maintain a sense of self and battle postpartum depression. Pregnancy is a hormonal roller coaster. Many people develop postpartum depression after the baby is born. If this happens, you must see a doctor immediately. Practicing yoga can also help alongside a medical regimen. This is because yoga demands that you devote time to yourself. Once that baby comes into the world, he or she will take every last second of your time. Everything from that day forward is about the baby. The trick is, to keep both of you going, you must learn to make time for yourself as an active choice. Incorporating yoga into your daily life is one way of doing this. It will be difficult. You will have to ask somebody to help you—your partner, your friend, your family, or another caregiver. You must do it anyway. It is essential to the health of you and your baby.

5 Essential Oils That Are Essential to Have

If you’re looking for a natural remedy to cure any number of ailments you may have, essential oils may be the answer you’ve been looking for. They have been used for centuries as part of aromatherapy practice and have been known to help with anything from migraine headaches and menstrual cramps to anxiety and depression. These five essential oils are a perfect place to start and cost $15 or less. Each offer multiple application methods and can be used throughout the day, as often as you’d like.

1.    Lemon Oil – This citrus oil not only smells fresh and clean, it also offers up a host of antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Lemon oil’s high potency of D-limonene helps diminish fine lines and wrinkles and promotes circulation in the skin. This compound also has been shown to help repair and replenish skin. This clean scent also has a positive effect on mood. Studies have shown that lemon oil can serve as a natural antidepressant.    

 2.    Lavender Oil – No arsenal of essential oils is complete without the ever-so-popular lavender oil. This multi-faceted oil touts anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Needless to say, lavender is a jack of all trades. Although it’s safe, some people are prone to allergic reactions due to the high concentration of linalool. Simply test a small amount on your skin to gauge your body’s reaction. Perhaps one of lavender’s most popular uses is for helping with anxiety. Use a cloth or towel and inhale a small amount of this oil for its calming benefits.

 3.    Tea Tree Oil – This oil is hot in the natural beauty world right now and rightfully so! Tea tree oil is anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial and tea tree leaves have been used to treat colds and heal wounds for ages. Use it as a natural mouthwash- it can help treat gingivitis and fight oral bacteria. About 10 drops of tea tree oil, diluted with water will do the trick!

 4.    Peppermint Oil – Everyone knows how refreshing peppermint is and most likely you already have some in your household (even if it’s in your toothpaste or chewing gum).  Peppermint is an antifungal, antiviral and an antioxidant and has been known to successfully treat tension headaches. Next time you get a nagging headache, try sniffing some peppermint oil before reaching for any over the counter headache medicine.

5.    Eucalyptus Oil – The fresh minty smell can help clear clogged airways, especially when you have a stuffy nose from a cold. Eucalyptus is also known to help boost your immune system and is an anti-inflammatory. A great way to use this essential oil is to diffuse it in your home. Since this is oil is so concentrated, diffusing it cuts the potency and can also serve as a bug repellent!