Choosing the Perfect Prenatal Yoga Mat: A Guide for Moms-to-Be
Pregnancy is a transformative and beautiful journey, and for many expectant mothers, incorporating prenatal yoga into their routine is a wonderful way to stay active, relieve stress, and connect with their changing bodies. One essential element for a comfortable and supportive prenatal yoga practice is the right yoga mat. In this guide, we'll explore the key considerations to keep in mind when choosing the perfect prenatal yoga mat.
Thickness and Cushioning:
During pregnancy, the body undergoes significant changes, and joints may become more sensitive due to the overproduction of a hormone called relaxin. One of the primary functions of relaxin is to relax or soften the connective tissues in the body in preparation for labour. Relaxin, however, doesn’t pick and choose which tissues to soften, which means we need to be especially careful of our knees, wrists and back during prenatal yoga. Opt for a yoga mat with ample thickness and cushioning to provide support for your knees, wrists, and back. Look for mats that are at least 6-8mm thick for optimal comfort and joint support. The YogaMama® Prenatal yYoga Mat is one of the only mats on the market that offers 8mm of support and cushion for your delicate body.
Texture for Stability:
Stability is crucial during prenatal yoga, especially as your center of gravity shifts. Choose a mat with a non-slip texture to ensure a stable surface for your poses. Mats with a slightly textured, non-sticky surface can help you maintain balance and stability in various positions. The YogaMama® Prenatal Yoga Mat offers a reversible design with two anti-slip grips so you can decide which works best for your trimester needs.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and certain plastics contain chemicals that may pose potential risks, especially during pregnancy. Phthalates are chemicals often used to soften plastics, including PVC. Some phthalates are endocrine disruptors, meaning they can interfere with the body's hormonal system. During pregnancy, exposure to phthalates may be concerning as they could potentially affect fetal development. Some studies suggest a link between prenatal exposure to phthalates and adverse outcomes such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and developmental issues. For these reasons, and many many more, it is best to avoid these plastics on your skin during pregnancy, postpartum, and really just the majority of your life.
Luckily, many yoga mats are crafted from eco-friendly materials, such as natural rubber or TPE. These materials are free from harmful chemicals and provide a non-toxic environment for both you and your baby. Furthermore, they are biodegradable so you can rest assured your yoga mat won’t be taking up space in a landfill once you are done with it. Consider the environmental impact of your mat choice and opt for those made with sustainability in mind, like the YogaMama® Prenatal Yoga Mat. It is 100% recyclable and biodegradable, and certified to be free from over 1500 banned chemicals across the world.
Easy to Clean:
Pregnancy comes with its own set of unique challenges, and convenience is key. Choose a mat that is easy to clean and maintain. Look for options that can be wiped down with a damp cloth or simply rolled up for storage without the need for extensive maintenance. YogaMama®’s Prenatal Yoga Mat is created with closed-cell technology, which means it wont absorb sweat, dirt or bacteria. It can be easily wiped with a mild cleanser or a natural antibacterial like tea tree oil and witch hazel.
Size and Length:
Prenatal yoga often involves poses that require more space, especially as your belly grows. Ensure that your mat is long and wide enough to accommodate your changing body comfortably. The standard size yoga mat is around 72 inches in length and 24 inches in width, and is a good starting point. But we love the extra room provided by YogaMama®’s Prental Yoga Mat, which offers 6 inches of extra width to ensure your feet and ankles aren’t hanging off the mat when showing off your impressive 3rd trimester upavistha konasana.
If you plan to attend prenatal yoga classes or practice on the go, consider the portability of your mat. Choose one that is lightweight and easy to roll up, making it convenient to carry to and from classes or stash away when not in use. We love our Manuka rubber mats just as much we love a bold glass of cabernet, but unfortunately neither are practical during pregnancy. We suggest a super lightweight mat, like YogaMama®’s Prental Yoga Mat, which weighs in under 4lbs, so light!
While investing in a quality prenatal yoga mat is essential, it's also important to consider your budget. Thankfully, there are excellent mats available at various price points. Look for options that strike a balance between quality and affordability. At just under $100, YogaMama®’s Prental Yoga Mat is the perfect mat for your body and budget.
What happens with your prenatal yoga mat once your bundle of joy arrives? Hopefully you will have learned the amazing benefits of yoga extend far beyond pregnancy and will continue to support your journey through motherhood. You can use your non-toxic, baby-safe yoga mat to do yoga with baby or as a play mat. And don't forget to bring it to your favorite restorative, yin yoga or breathwork class.
Choosing the right prenatal yoga mat is a thoughtful decision that can greatly enhance your yoga practice during pregnancy. By prioritizing factors such as thickness, texture, eco-friendliness, cleanliness, size, portability, and budget, you can find the perfect mat that supports you through this beautiful and transformative journey. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine, including prenatal yoga, and enjoy the benefits of a comfortable and supportive yoga mat on your path to motherhood.