Nurturing Maternal Mental Health: Pre & Postnatal Yoga

This week we are supporting Maternal Mental Health Week, so we have spoken to Lauren, mum of 2 and founder of Clover Yoga Birth about all things pre and post natal yoga, how it can benefit your maternal health and overall journey into motherhood.

Greetings, fellow mama bears! I proudly navigate the exhilarating journey of motherhood with my two ‘spirited’ wildlings, aged 7 and 3. As a dedicated prenatal/postnatal yoga teacher and doula specialising in pregnancy and postpartum care, my mission is to ensure that all mothers receive comprehensive support - both physically and mentally - during this sacred chapter of their lives. The transition to motherhood is a profound experience that affects every facet of our being. As we traverse Maternal Mental Health Week, I'm compelled to delve into this metamorphic process, known as Matrescence, and explore how Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga can fortify our emotional well-being amidst this delicate and dynamic transformation.

Nurturing Through Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga

Pregnancy is an incredible journey, brimming with anticipation, joy, and a whirlwind of emotions. Yet, amidst the excitement, expectant mothers often encounter challenges that can weigh heavily on their mental well-being. 

From the physical discomforts to the anxieties surrounding childbirth and motherhood, the path to becoming a mother isn't always smooth sailing. It's during these vulnerable moments that prenatal yoga emerges as a comforting sanctuary - a safe haven where expectant mothers can seek solace, renewal, and empowerment. Joining a community of women, each exploring their unique journeys, and being able to offer and receive encouragement can be a welcomed relief for any worries. 

In the quiet & serene setting of a prenatal yoga class, I encourage mothers-to-be to connect with their bodies, their breath, and their growing babies. Drowning out the external noise & allowing themselves to tune inward and gather their thoughts & emotions in a safe space. 

And what’s more, we now have evidence-based research that supports what I already know to be true from working with hundreds of pregnant women. The study revealed compelling evidence that regular participation in prenatal yoga classes significantly improved the mental well-being of expectant mothers. Through a series of controlled experiments and participant surveys, researchers observed notable reductions in stress levels, anxiety symptoms, and depressive tendencies among pregnant women who engaged in yoga sessions tailored to the unique needs of pregnancy. These findings not only underscored the therapeutic benefits of prenatal yoga but also shed light on its potential role as a holistic approach to supporting maternal mental health.

Mindful Healing: The Transformative Power of Postnatal Yoga

However, the journey to motherhood extends beyond pregnancy and childbirth; it transitions into the postpartum period - a time of significant change, adaptation, and emotional upheaval. As the initial euphoria of childbirth gives way to the reality of sleepless nights, nappy changes, and the myriad demands of new motherhood, mothers often find themselves grappling with a plethora of emotions - from overwhelming joy to feelings of uncertainty, exhaustion, and isolation.

It is here, within the nurturing embrace of postnatal yoga, that mothers uncover a lifeline - a sanctuary where they can tend to their bodies, nourish their spirits, and find solace amidst the chaos of early motherhood. Through adaptive poses that encourage healing post-birth, along with breath-work and meditation, they learn to honour their experiences, foster self-compassion, and embrace the full spectrum of emotions that accompany the journey of motherhood. Surrounded by the supportive presence of fellow mothers, they discover camaraderie, empathy, and a sense of belonging that reminds them they're not alone on this wild voyage. 

In essence, prenatal and postnatal yoga offers more than just physical benefits; they serve as potent instruments for nurturing maternal mental health. They equip mothers with the guidance, support, and empowerment needed to navigate the intricacies of pregnancy, childbirth, and early motherhood with grace, resilience, and unwavering determination.

As mothers, we deserve to be upheld and cherished during this sacred time, and yoga provides us with the framework to embrace the journey with open hearts and open minds.  Together, we can celebrate the beauty of motherhood and foster a community built on support, understanding, and love (and a little bit of yoga!)

Author Bio:

Written by Lauren Molyneux (@cloveryogabirth), Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga Teacher & Full Spectrum Maternal Support. You can find my FREE birth affirmations, hypnobirthing audios, e-books and online yoga classes at In-studio classes are held in Skipton, Yorkshire Dales. Contact for more details.