Danita Knight will admit that being in a relaxed state isn’t typically in her nature.

Knight with new babySo as the mom-to-be made plans for the arrival of her first child, she honed in on some of the classes featured in her weekly parenting email from Texas Health that she thought might help stave off the mounting anxiety she was feeling.

In her second trimester, King began taking the Prenatal Yoga class available at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. She later added the Prenatal Aquatics class to her routine. The classes are designed to provide moms the opportunity to center, connect and focus on themselves and their developing babies.

“Prenatal classes are an excellent way for a woman to prepare her body and her mind for delivery, whether the expectation is for a vaginal or cesarean birth,” said Jessica Ladd, Director of Operations for the North Texas region of Oh Baby! Fitness and class instructor. “We teach the importance of the pelvic floor and core muscles used in the birth process and for postpartum recovery, along with deep breathing and focused breathing techniques for calming.”

Knight Family with New BabyWhen King started experiencing severe sciatica and swelling in her legs due to the increased pressure of her growing baby girl, she was able to find relief using Ladd’s recommendations. And when delivery day came and baby Jayde ended up breech (feet down rather than head down), the breathing techniques she learned in class kicked in during the cesarean delivery.

“Jessica was great about adjusting the yoga positions in class to help with my symptoms and those of other class members; and the breathing exercises she taught were a real game-changer for me,” King said. “The relaxation breathing helped me as my pregnancy came to an end and the anxiety of being a new mom really started setting in on the morning of my daughter’s birth. The core and arm strength I developed during water aerobics also came in handy when I couldn’t feel my legs after surgery and I had to temporarily rely on my arms for most everything.”

Knight Family with new babyThankfully, baby Jayde was born without complications — weighing in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces. King says she does continue to use the deep breathing and focused breathing to calm herself down and even to help soothe Jayde when she is snuggling with mom and fussing.

Since taking up the Prenatal Yoga classes, King has also gotten compliments on the noticeable difference in her breathing and sense of peace. Once cleared by her doctor, the new mom plans to start back up with classes. She now has her sights set on Texas Health Dallas’ Mom and Baby Fitness classes.

“I might not have had an epic birth story, where I was able to use push techniques or breathing to help push my baby out, but I did use breathing to calm myself right before surgery — and my sweet Jayde came out calm and beautiful. I know the yoga classes helped me to be cool and collected for my girl’s birth, and that means the world to me,” King added.

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