Check out the baby yoga video featuring Lena Fokina after the jump!
Baby Yoga: Safe for Baby?
Not sure what you do with your baby, but if I had one, I certainly wouldn’t do the baby yoga moves as depicted in the video below. Let me start with a disclaimer. I do not speak Russian, so if anyone out there can enlighten us on what is going on in the video (or the linked site), please feel free. Also, I’m sure there are healthy and safe baby yoga practices out there, but the video below does not seem to show any of them.
Who is Lena Fokina?
Lena Fokina is the baby-flinging Russian woman in the video who claims this so-called baby yoga is actually beneficial to an infant’s health, both physically and mentally. Really?? Is she a pediatrician? A medical professional of any kind? No and no. I can’t help but think about the possibility of your hand slipping mid-swing.
Many of you have wondered if the baby yoga video is fake and surprisingly enough, it apparently is real. Writer Nathan Thornburgh, who visits Russia regularly and is a bit of an expert on the subject, interviewed Lena Fokina. He wrote about it on his website, DadWagon:
I have found a Russian obsession with physical hardiness that goes far beyond pictures of Putin fishing topless. I remember going with my brother to a Soviet sanatorium—what they used to call their spa-resorts—in 1990 and finding that the main treatment there was standing in a stainless steel room while a technician sprayed us with what felt like a fire hose…
But “baby yoga,” and its corollary, dunking-a-newborn-in-the-ocean, is not just another act of toughening. The more I looked into it, the more I realized that in a certain milieu of alterna-Russians, the parents who do this are sort of like Slavic Tiger Mothers: hyperinvolved parents who want to give their child a leg up in life.
That’s, well, different.
Are we uncomfortable with this sort of thing because it’s actually harmful or just because we don’t practice “baby yoga” like this in the United States? Any doctors out there want to weigh in?
Watch the Baby Yoga Video:
Safer Approaches to Lena Fokina’s Baby Yoga
SheKnows Health Editor, Michele Borboa, MS weighed in on the matter:
“We are born to walk upright and not to hang upside down as the norm. Even athletes who do upside down stunts, such as gymnasts, do not hang upside down for long periods of time. Hanging upside down for long periods of time can cause pooling of blood in the lungs, which can lead to pulmonary edema, and the head, which can lead to death – gravity helps pull blood down to our feet when we are upright but it also pulls blood into the head when the body is upside down, and there are no muscles in the head to help pump the blood upward towards the heart. Another problem is high blood pressure, which can lead to a stroke. Any long-term alteration of the circulatory system can have negative, if not dangerous, long-term effects. I don’t recommend hanging infants upside down for any extended periods of time and especially not while swinging them; swinging by itself runs the risk of dropping an infant on its head and causing long-term brain damage.”
As an alternative to Lena Fokina’s extreme approach to baby yoga, here’s what our SheKnows Parenting Team recommends:
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