Written by: Melissa Schnurr, PhD, CD(DONA)

During my first pregnancy, I continued to attend my regular yoga class and my instructor did the best he could to help me modify. After my daughter’s birth, I reflected on how I used my breath and connection to my body to relax (both skills were honed in my regular yoga class). In 2013, two years after her birth, I became a certified prenatal yoga instructor so I could offer to other women even more than what I received from my regular yoga practice.


Empowered Pregnancy & Birth’s prenatal yoga is more than a yoga class! I not only guide expecting women through gentle yoga poses and help them connect to their breath, body, and baby, but I also facilitate their connection with each other. Each class begins with conversation around a topic related to pregnancy, birth, or motherhood. Experienced moms share their wisdom and all women are welcome to ask questions and share their thoughts. It fills my heart to hear the chatter before and after each class – a sign to me that women are truly connecting with each other.


Women who have taken my classes tell me after their birth how beneficial it was to have a connection to their breath and their bodies during labor as well as in the early postpartum weeks. In addition, new mothers have told me that they felt stronger in labor because of the poses we do in class each week. Truly, ANY BODY can join class and benefit – I have had expecting women join who have never done yoga, who are regular yogis, and women expecting twins (and they stay in class until literally, the day before their babies decided to join us earthside!).


I offer classes in a 6-week series – each class on Sunday evenings from 6:30-7:45PM. Classes are held at New U Yoga on the southwest side of Ankeny (3020 SW Oralabor Rd, Ankeny) and class topics are never repeated, so women can join in the first trimester and never hear a repeat! Visit www.empoweredpregnancyandbirth.com to learn more and like “Empowered Pregnancy & Birth LLC” on facebook for daily posts on pregnancy, birth, and motherhood.

Melissa Schnurr, PhD, CD(DONA):

Melissa is the mother of two daughters born in October 2010 and November 2014, an early childhood consultant for the State of Iowa, DONA certified birth doula, a prenatal yoga certified instructor, and a dōTERRA wellness advocate. Also the owner of Empowered Pregnancy & Birth LLC, Melissa has a passion for supporting women and their families during pregnancy and birth.

Empowering All The Women

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