When you’re pregnant, it can be draining just thinking about getting active. But, if you want to keep your weight gain in check and tone up your muscles ahead of birth, it might be worth taking your Yoga equipment to local gym classes.

According to Charlotte Watts, a nutritional therapist, Yoga teacher and co-author of the De-Stress Diet, Yoga in particular is a very good activity for mums-to-be.

"Many women start a long-term yoga practise during pregnancy, as it helps them to connect to their changing body and prepare for birth by encouraging breathing patterns that help nurture calm and presence during labour," she pointed out.

"Birth is a natural process which can have the least complications when we are most connected to our ’primal body’ - the one where we feel rather than think."

She said that using Yoga mats from the beginning of the second trimester can help protect the lower back as your bump starts to show, giving you stronger muscles that will aid birth. Limbering up your changing body will also create space to breathe in the chest as your baby starts growing upwards.

"Pregnancy is also demanding on our bodies posturally, and muscles need to be strong and aligned best to allow us to hold the quickly growing weight of the baby and uterus," Ms Watts commented.

Pregnant women who are hoping to practise hypnobirthing techniques when they go into labour may benefit from taking quality Yoga mats to nearby classes because the movements will allow them to focus on their posture and breathing.

Meanwhile, a Telegraph fitness column has advised one of its expectant readers to continue doing Yoga poses in her eighth month of pregnancy to help her cope with feelings of restlessness and allow her to focus on her breathing.

Posted by Freya Harper