It is not safe to do headstands whilst pregnant!
True or false?
Answer: it depends.
I have been practising yoga since I was 16, and typically some element of my practise has included an inversion such as headstands. Personally I don’t feel they serve any other therapeutic benefit other than “they are fun”!
If you are some one who is comfortable and confident at doing headstands, there is no intrinsic risk to the mother or baby doing a headstand during pregnancy. The baby is in a sac of fluid, he or she has no idea whether they are right side up or upside down.
Your centre of gravity will obviously shift and this needs to be taken into account if you were going to do a headstand and the reflux might not be that nice, but you are not going to cause yourself any harm.
If you are not proficient at something, and you use pregnancy to try to learn something you have never done comfortably before, this is where the danger can come in.
In order to learn something, you need to have a margin of error. Making mistakes is all part of learning! You make mistakes, you learn from it, you get better.
During pregnancy we don’t have this margin of error. You do not want to be risking bumping your bump, or falling unsafely out of an uncontrolled headstand. So no, in this instance, headstands are not safe to practise whilst pregnant.
That is true of all exercise.
The guidelines for exercise during pregnancy is “the maintenance of current fitness levels”.
It can be so confusing to know what you can and can’t do during pregnancy. The important thing is to recognise the difference between:
- Dangerous activities – these are obviously a no go, irrespective of the individual and the situation.
- Risky activities – as with everything, risk is dependent on the individual and the situation. Crossing the road is risky, but we still need to do it if we are going to get to where we want to. With these ones its important to take it on a person by person basis.
- Perfectly fine activities.
And how to apply these.
The More You Pre and Post Natal Programme is designed to guide you and your body through this time, and keep you doing the things you love, whilst keeping you and your baby safe and healthy!
(Just to clarify, no headstands are not a prerequisite!)’