By: MaryBeth D. Smith, MM, GCFP
Director, The Feldenkrais Center of Houston

The physical changes during pregnancy include far more than just a growing belly. Every part of you, from your hair and nails to your joints and muscles, will change – and then change again after you deliver!

As your baby grows inside you, you may find that everyday movements like getting up out of a chair, rolling over in bed, even breathing – become more difficult.  There’s a profound reason for this that goes beyond your weight gain and changes in muscle tone – and your regular exercise program may not be enough to keep you feeling your best.

The reason is:  your brain! Your brain is in control of your movements. Ordinary, habitual movements, learned throughout your life to this point, are deeply encoded in the structures of your brain. Simply stated, the unconscious instructions for moving your pre-pregnancy body continue to run “on auto-pilot” – and they don’t work as well any more. The more your body changes, the farther “off” these movements feel, leading to pain, strain, and fatigue. Traditional exercises for strengthening and stretching will not address the needed re-tuning of your brain to instruct your changing body. You can learn to move in new ways to stay comfortable throughout your pregnancy.

The Motherhood Center to the rescue! Prenatal fitness and prenatal yoga are great classes to attend.  Prenatal fitness gives expecting moms the opportunity to gain strength and flexibility which eases the discomforts of pregnancy and helps prepare the body for childbirth.Prenatal yoga gives expecting moms the opportunity to relax, breathe, and connect with their baby.