yoga and child birth
October 2019

The Birth of a Mother

Yoga Can Help Childbirth and Infant Rearing

By Hannah Muse 

The journey of pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum is undoubtedly one of the most incredible, life-enhancing, fulfilling experiences one can ever experience!  And – whether it’s our first pregnancy or our fourth – it can also be a great challenge for our bodies, minds, and emotional life in ways we’ve never experienced; in ways that we don’t always feel ready and resourced to handle without additional support.  

yoga and child birth
Who needs goat yoga when you’ve got baby and prenatal yoga? And in Santa Cruz you can learn to be a prenatal yoga teacher. Photo:

Luckily there is support waiting for you.

Prenatal and Postnatal yoga classes are one of those invaluable support systems your community provides that resource mothers and their families in many beneficial ways.   Research shows that Prenatal (during pregnancy) and Postnatal yoga (for mothers and their infants) can help to: reduce anxiety, decrease lower back pain, headaches, nausea and shortness of breath (to name just a few of the evidence-based physical benefits), improve sleep, and increase the inner resiliency the mother needs to cope with stress may arises along the journey.  

Countless women find a safe, supportive refuge when they attend these mother-focused yoga classes.  After facilitating these classes for mothers for nearly a decade, one thing is certain: that although the path of motherhood is a unique journey for every woman, we can’t do it alone. Perhaps that’s why women often tell me and write to me that, in addition to helping with aches and pains, that they are often surprised to find that the most helpful and treasured aspects of these classes is the opportunity to be in a sacred circle of women who are also being initiated into motherhood – sharing their challenges and raw vulnerability, inspiring hope for each other, reaching out a hand or a Kleenex or a hug – all while we safely move our bodies and breathe together in a sanctuary of well-being and support.  

Childbirth is not only about birthing a child – it’s also the birth of a Mother.  

There are prenatal or postnatal yoga class in our area, including at the Pacific Cultural Center ( for $6 a class for new students. Prenatal classes are welcome to those in all trimesters, while postnatal classes are welcome to mothers and their infants up until crawling.  There are also classes at Luma and Sutter.

You can learn to assist these yoga classes too Dec. 4-8 for Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training – open to doulas, acupuncturists, healers and healthcare providers, and yoga teachers at the Mount Madonna Center alongside a faculty of specialists in childbirth, psychology, ayurveda, infant development and more.

Hannah Muse is a Registered Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga Teacher, Doula, and Teacher of the Mount Madonna

Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training.


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