As suggested by Nichole (!) I’m going to add what I know to this thread. Although its not a recent thread, I felt a need to address some of the points made.
Remember from week 28 you should avoid any asana which turns the body upside down as the baby starts to prepare to turn its whole body to be born head first.
I wouldn’t suggest inversions at any point in pregnancy.
Also remember that all the joints in your body starts to soften in order to prepare you for birthing so it is important to avoid over stretching as you can damage some of the joints and muscles.
I think this is only relevant if the student is for example a dancer or already extremely flexible. For most westerners the risk is minimal
Any asanas that prepare and work on the thigh muscles will be great as it is these muscles which you will eventually use the most during the birthing process.
Again for most westerners the thigh muscles will not really be used much in birthing since it is unusual to give birth in the squatting position. Unfortunately most birthing women will spend the majority of their labour time and probably eventually give birth either sitting or lying.
And then relaxation, both ladies will sometimes just come to class and lay in sarvasana for the whole duration of the class, getting up after the class refreshed and well rested and as teacher you must have the sensitivity to allow aspects such as these.
for pregnant women the relaxation/yoga nidra or DRT time is THE most important yoga practice
Another aspect of importance is pranayama, we focus a lot on breath control, using the breath to bring the body under control.
I have to disagree with this. It is extremely important for pregnant women not to focus on [U]controlling the body[/U]. At this time it is the most out of control a womans body can be! She needs to be able to SURRENDER to that. Women who are more controlling in nature generally enjoy their pregnancies the least and have the least happy birth experiences, and indeed subsequently the most difficulty in mothering. The use of the breath in pregnancy is to enable that surrender.
Both ladies are due within the next two months. I learn every week something new from them as both have never done yoga before I had to be very careful in my selection of asanas.
When women start yoga for the first time in pregnancy they have no frame of reference for their practice so cannot know when something is not ok, unless they are very attuned. In this case the teacher has a huge responsibility toward them.
I hope this is helpful. I think I need to post more on what pregnancy “does” to a woman, especially emotionally and spiritually, as these were the aspects that had the profoundest effect for me. My own practice and teaching altered radically during my pregnancy.