RMA of CT Offers Prenatal Yoga with a Twist

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New Form of Yoga Designed for Emotional, Physical Needs of Newly Pregnant Fertility Patients

RMA of CT now offers Prenatal Yoga Classes to patients who have had success with their fertility treatment

“Many women come into their pregnancies after infertility treatment feeling a little like they've been on a roller coaster,” says certified yoga instructor Lisa Rosenthal, MA, RYT-200.

Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) has expanded its Integrated Fertility and Wellness Program to include a prenatal yoga class designed especially for women who have gone through fertility treatment before becoming pregnant. With a 64% pregnancy success rate in patients who have had elective single embryo transfers for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) since 2009*, RMACT is continuing to help its patients who have recently had successful fertility treatments to meet their physical and emotional needs.

Unlike other prenatal yoga classes, this class guides participants – many of whom have had one or more miscarriages – through meditation and relaxation to build their confidence in their bodies and themselves. Women coming out of fertility treatment are frequently alarmed by changes in their bodies, including common pregnancy symptoms, such as mood swings, nausea and exhaustion.

“Many women come into their pregnancies after infertility treatment feeling a little like they've been on a roller coaster,” says certified yoga instructor Lisa Rosenthal, MA, RYT-200. “Fertility treatment is not for the faint hearted; it is a path with a lot of challenges. If a patient has been in treatment for a long time and had several unsuccessful cycles, then she may have felt that a successful pregnancy would never be achieved. In other words, some women are in shock that fertility treatment has worked. They may feel very tentative about it, even well into their pregnancies.”

In addition to addressing the emotional need of patients, the movements and poses are intentionally gentle. For example, deep back bending will be replaced with Ustrasana (camel position) and Setu Bandha (bridge position). These asanas (poses) will help alleviate common physical changes during pregnancy, such as increased fluid and blood flow, changing center of balance, weight gain and swelling.

As in other pre-natal classes, modifications such as lying on the side, not the back, will be made. There is also a focus on alleviating strain on the spinal cord. Asanas will emphasize the strength of the pelvic floor, groin, stomach and back muscles. Upper body strength will be worked through cat and cow positions and through Virabhadrasana (all of the warrior poses). As students progress in their pregnancies, Pranayama (breathing) will become more and more challenging and asanas opening the heart, chest and lungs will be introduced more and more.

For over two and a half years RMACT has been offering its patients Fertile Yoga, a proprietary class that is designed to reduce patients’ stress and nurture their bodies during fertility treatment. Fertile Yoga was developed by Rosenthal, who has over 25 years of experience in the fertility field, including her current roles as lead blog writer and Coordinator of Professional and Patient Communications for RMACT. Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and helping found The American Fertility Association, where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.

Women who want to attend RMACT’s prenatal yoga class need to have a doctor's clearance, as they should for all forms of exercise. RMACT transitions its fertility patients back to the care of their OB/GYN in the first trimester, typically between weeks eight and 10 but patients can continue with prenatal yoga classes until they reach their due date. To find times and locations for this free class, go to http://www.rmact.com/events/.

Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT) specializes in the treatment of infertility. With Connecticut fertility clinics and egg donation offices in Norwalk, Danbury and Greenwich, and affiliate New York fertility clinics serving Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties, our team of Board-Certified Reproductive Endocrinologists offer a wide range of infertility treatments from ovulation induction and intrauterine insemination (IUI) to the most advanced assisted reproductive technologies including in-vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donation and its own cutting-edge procedure called Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS), a form of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). RMACT offers individualized infertility treatment plans in a patient-focused and supportive environment. Support services, such as, psychological counseling, acupuncture and yoga are also available through RMACT Integrated Fertility & Wellness Program, as well as infertility treatment financing.

The RMACT team of fertility doctors includes Drs. Mark P. Leondires, Spencer S. Richlin, Joshua M. Hurwitz and Cynthia M. Murdock. All physicians are members of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) and the Fairfield County and Connecticut Medical Societies. RMACT’s IVF laboratory is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), and CLIA; other accreditations include the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) and the American Institute for Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM). For more information visit http://www.RMACT.com.

  • RMA of CT encourages patients to transfer a single embryo, when appropriate, because single gestations are less risky for mother and baby than multiples. Of 35 patients who chose to do this, 22 resulted in pregnancies. Since 2009, RMA of CT has conducted over 600 transfers and an additional 1,500 IUI procedures.

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Tally Jacobs
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