#bloggertakeover Benefits of Postnatal Yoga

 

Welcome to the first in Winging it with two boys #bloggertakeover series.  Our first guest blog is on the Benefits of Postnatal Yoga by Yogalicious Mama.

 

The morning sickness, achy lower back, and fatigue of pregnancy have passed. But for new mamas, a whole new set of physical conditions can accompany the bliss of loving your little creation. Luckily, a few simple yoga poses can address the most common concerns.



Our bodies are always in transition, so don’t think that you have to be exactly the way you were before pregnancy. You can expect to be healthy, vital, and strong again so that you can fulfil your new role as a mother. 

Poses for Post-Natal Mama


  • Weakened Pelvic Floor
All of that pushing during labor understandably makes for a compromised pelvic floor. After birth, it’s not uncommon to experience lessened sexual sensation or an annoying leakage of urine after a sneeze or a hearty chuckle. But it’s no laughing matter: A serious weakness can result in an organ prolapse, which often requires surgery.
Solution: Kegel Exercises


These contractions strengthen the pelvic floor to help correct incontinence. Pick your position: cross-legged position, child’s pose or lying on your back. Then quickly squeeze the muscles that stop the flow of urine. Make the contractions progressively longer: squeeze for five, hold for five, and release for five. Repeat 10 times.
  • Aching Neck and Shoulders
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, many new mamas experience neck and shoulder aches—the result of many hours spent bending forward to feed the baby. The resulting hunched-over position can lead to the dreaded “forward head” position that may cause other problems such as headaches and back pain.
Solution: Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) Arms




While feeding, focus on keeping the shoulders away from the ears and the shoulder blades down the back. For a more active approach, try gomukhasana Arms: Bring the right arm overhead and turn the palm inward. Bring the left arm out to the side and parallel to the floor and turn the palm outward. Bring palms together behind the back, using a strap if they don’t touch. Hold for five breaths, release, and repeat to the other side.
  • Loss of Endurance
After your baby is born, you might notice that running up the stairs isn’t as easy as it was a year ago. With your body recovering from labor, fatigue from caring for a newborn, and a change in your exercise routine while pregnant, a shift in endurance level makes sense.
Solution: Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose) 


Standing poses like Warrior II build stamina and are highly accessible to most women. New mamas like to feel they are building strength, and with standing poses they can feel it in their body.
Try Warrior II, named after the fierce warrior Virabhadra: with legs four feet apart, turn the right foot in and the left foot out 90 degrees. Bring your arms out to the sides, parallel to the floor, as you bend the left knee over the left ankle. Reach out with your arms and hold for five breaths. Repeat on the other side.
  • Weakened Abdominal Muscles
Along with growing and birthing a baby comes weakened and stretched Abdominal muscles. Make sure to ask your doctor before starting any ab work: the standard recommendation is to wait four to six weeks after a vaginal birth, and eight weeks after a cesarean birth. The importance of strengthening your pelvic floor before starting abdominal work is vital otherwise you could create too much pressure in the pelvic floor, which could lead to pain and complications.
Solution: Pelvic Rocking

The key to maintaining a healthy abdomen after birth? Starting gently and moving slowly. lying on your back and tucking your belly button in toward your spine; exhale and tilt your pelvis up, inhale and tilt your pelvis back. Continue to rock your pelvis back and forth for gentle strengthening of the abdomen. Repeat 20 times.
  • Fatigue 
Waking up every few hours to tend to the little one doesn’t exactly make for a well-rested person. Although you won’t cut out all of your sleepless nights, you can deal with fatigue to make your waking hours more manageable.
Solution: Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose)

When you feel exhausted, your breath becomes more shallow. A restorative pose helps open the chest, encourages you to take deeper breaths, and aids relaxation and rejuvenation. Lay with your right hip against the wall and a pillow under both hips. Then slowly swing your legs up onto the wall, bring your arms out to the sides, and breathe deeply. Hold for two minutes.

Try not to be a superwoman, or rush to regain your pre-pregnancy figure. Begin by starting out slow and listening to your body. 

Laura founder of Yogalicious Mama has over 15 years experience working as a healthcare professional alongside a yoga teacher .

 “Many mothers can barely find time away from baby to get much accomplished, why not exercise with baby and find a postnatal class that allows you to bring your baby “

 


Thank you to Laura Bibby who writes for Yogalicious Mama for writing this awesome guest blog on the Benefits of Postnatal Yoga.



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Comments

  1. Great post! I used to hate yoga because I wasn't doing it right. Now I've figured it out (I think!) and it makes me feel soooo good!

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  2. This is a great post, thanks for sharing :) I used to do Bikram yoga every week before pregnancy as it was so good for my back problems which I've had for years and years but I haven't had the time to commit to it properly since giving birth. Really need to get back into some form of yoga though as the benefits are absolutely amazing! xx

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