Hollywood has gotten the memo: Prenatal yoga is a great way to stay fit, calm, and balanced during pregnancy.
Yoga is hardly a new phenomenon, but in recent years its popularity has skyrocketed--and caught the attention of a long list of celebrity moms-to-be. Toting cute yoga mats and wearing snappy outfits that show off beautiful baby bumps and healthy pregnant bodies, celebs are helping to spread the word that prenatal yoga has benefits that include better sleep, improved circulation, lower stress, and easier labor and delivery. These twelve celebrity moms made prenatal yoga important and public parts of their pregnancies.
When she was pregnant with her first child, Apple, in 2004, the Oscar-winning actress was among the first celebrities to popularize prenatal yoga. Paltrow reportedly attended lunchtime yoga classes in London three times a week during her pregnancy, and Chris Martin, her husband and the lead singer of Coldplay, attended some classes with her. Paltrow practiced Ashtanga yoga, an athletically challenging form of the practice, and was able to adjust it for both her first pregnancy and her second pregnancy, with son Moses, in 2006.
Ashtanga yoga remains a mainstay of Paltrow's lifestyle, along with a famously healthy diet and other forms of rigorous exercise. "Physically, [yoga] completely changed me. I found strength that I never thought I had. And mentally, it's taught me just patience and letting go, and it's really changed my whole psychological outlook," she says in Ashtanga, NY: A Yoga Documentary.
The Victoria's Secret model and wife of superstar NFL quarterback Tom Brady is the envy of many a pregnant mom because of her effortless maternity style and shapely figure. Bundchen, who has two children (Benjamin, born in 2009, and Vivian, born in 2012) with Brady, practiced yoga three times a week during her pregnancies. While pregnant she described yoga as "moving meditation" that "feels so good" on Facebook, and she told the Daily Mail that her yoga practice helped her eat mindfully and manage her stress, two factors she credits with helping her regain her prepregnancy figure quickly.
The former Victoria's Secret model is a champion of all things holistic -- she opted for a natural birth and developed a line of organic skin care products -- so it's no surprise that she continued to practice yoga when pregnant in 2011 with her son, Flynn Christopher, whose father is actor Orlando Bloom. "It doesn't matter where I am or what I am doing, yoga gives me the opportunity to switch off and focus entirely on my body and my breath," Kerr told MindBodyGreen.com. "I practiced yoga during my entire pregnancy, and I hope to practice for the rest of my life."
The actress and producer became a yoga devotee when pregnant with her first child, Olive, in 2012. Barrymore was concerned with her prenatal health and wanted to balance out her regular carb-heavy cravings. Now pregnant with her second child, Barrymore is reportedly continuing her practice of prenatal yoga.
Alba, who gave birth to daughter Honor in 2008 and daughter Haven in 2011, is a public champion of natural health. She founded a natural baby-care company called The Honest Company, so it's no surprise that yoga is a part of her holistic lifestyle. She credits prenatal yoga with a happy pregnancy and easier labor. "I have a bad back and bad knees, and it really prepares your body. The more limber you are and the stronger you are, the easier your birth. And isn't that what everybody wants?" she told Lucky magazine. Ramona Braganza, Alba's trainer, told Fit Pregnancy that the actress's prenatal yoga workouts involved a lot of exercise props to help her get the benefits of challenging poses.
When Miller was engaged and expecting a child with actor Tom Sturridge, she went public about her love for prenatal yoga. "I have been trying to do some pregnancy yoga as I'm definitely not a gym person. My mum started up one of the first yoga schools in London in the '70s, so I should probably utilize her expertise, as I have really bad posture," she said to Marie Claire magazine. She welcomed her daughter, Marlowe Ottoline Layng, in 2012.
Yoga teacher Hilaria Baldwin is an advocate of prenatal yoga. Speaking to the Everything Pregnancy blog on Parents.com, Baldwin said, "I believe that all pregnant women should do yoga. It's incredible for hip, lower back and foot pain, restless leg syndrome, circulation, and just the whole body and mind in general. It can also help with the delivery. A strong core and flexibility can really help with labor." She released a prenatal yoga DVD that featured her award-winning actor husband, Alec, who told Politico.com that his favorite pose is Happy Baby. The couple welcomed daughter Carmen Gabriela in 2013.
Jones, famous for portraying Betty Draper in the hit TV series Mad Men, started practicing yoga when she became pregnant with her son, Xander, in 2011. A single mom, Jones continued her yoga practice despite indulging in some unhealthy but long-beloved food favorites.
Milano, best known for her role as Tony Danza's daughter on Who's the Boss?, took to the yoga mat often during her pregnancy. "Prenatal yoga class.... Om. Shanti," Milano once tweeted, referencing a traditional Sanskrit prayer for peace that is often chanted in yoga classes. Her son, Milo Thomas, was born in 2011.
The actress and her husband, actor Eric Dane of Grey's Anatomy, turned to prenatal yoga when pregnant with her first child, Billie Beatrice, in 2010. "I'm doing yoga, and I'm walking on the beach every day with my dogs for about an hour. I drink lots of water and eat a lot of vegetables and protein," she told MindBodyGreen.com. The couple welcomed a second daughter, Georgia Geraldine, in 2011.
Holly Lebowitz Rossi is a writer based in Arlington, Massachusetts. She writes the Parents News Now blog for Parents.com, and she is the co-author, with the yoga teacher Liz Owen, of Yoga for a Healthy Lower Back: A Practical Guide to Developing Strength and Relieving Pain
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