If yoga helped you to stay active during pregnancy, you might be wondering if postnatal yoga can help you now you’ve had your baby.
In this article we’ll look at the key changes to your body after pregnancy, followed by some solutions that yoga can offer.
Change: Saggy tummy and weak abdominal muscles. Your growing baby made your abdominal muscles long and weak, and stretched the skin around your tummy.
Yoga solution: Postnatal yoga poses are designed to re-build your core and trim excess fat from around the waist and hips. Poses like twists will wring out your digestive system too.
Change: Poor posture and back pain. All the changes to your body during pregnancy plays havoc with your posture. Add to that carrying and feeding your baby, and lifting heavy things like the pram and baby capsule and you’ll end up with postural issues, especially rounded shoulders and neck ache.
Back pain is also common postnatally, due to a weak core combined with manual, physical work like carrying, and kneeling down leaning over the bath to bathe your baby every night.
Yoga solution: As well as re-building your core, postnatal yoga will help to open through the chest and shoulders, release tension in your neck and re-build upper and lower body strength.
Change: Weak Pelvic Floor. Pregnancy and birth places a huge strain on your pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to incontinence and lack of sexual pleasure. If your bladder leaks even slightly when you sneeze, jump on the trampoline or urgently need a wee, it’s a sure sign that you need to work on your pelvic floor.
Yoga solution: Pelvic floor exercises are a critical part of postnatal yoga. You’ll learn how to correctly engage the pelvic floor and work out those muscles.
Change: Baby weight. It took nine months to grow your baby, so don’t expect the baby weight to disappear the minute you give birth.
Yoga solution: It’s normal to want to re-gain your figure sooner or later and yoga will help to speed up that process. The more active you are, the more you feel like eating healthily too.
Change: Increased stress/anxiety. Having a newborn baby can be stressful at times. If only they came with a manual! If you were prone to stress or anxiety before bub arrived, don’t be surprised if having a baby (especially one who doesn’t sleep well) exacerbates that for a while.
Yoga solution: Postnatal yoga will give you much-needed relaxation time, along with tools and breathing techniques you can use at home to calm your busy or anxious mind.
When can I start postnatal yoga?
You might be surprised by this answer, but you can actually start right away! A few hours after birth you can do some gentle breathing techniques and pelvic floor work which will help with repairing any tears you might have suffered from during birth.
In terms of attending a postnatal class, we ask that you wait until 6 weeks after giving birth – after you get the all-clear at your postpartum doctor’s visit. If you delivered by c-section you might want to wait until 8-12 weeks – again, it’s best to check with your doctor first.
We welcome all levels and abilities and give plenty of options so you can work safely at your own pace.
How can I find the time to do yoga, now I have a bub?
Many women find that once they have had their bub they struggle to get time for themselves. Although at first it feels counter-productive, it is actually really important to take that time out because you return feeling refreshed, re-connected with yourself and ready to be ‘mum’ again. We like evening postnatal classes best as your husband/partner can return from work, and look after bub while you slip out for an hour.
I was really hoping to do mums and bubs yoga during the day, don’t you offer that?
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the reality of mums and bubs yoga classes is often far from what you imagine. Leaving the house with a newborn baby to be somewhere for a particular time is stressful. Fact. Some days the class goes smoothly, but other days it doesn’t, and when it doesn’t, this is what it looks like: When you arrive (often late) your bub needs a feed, followed by a nappy change, burp, settled to sleep and then re-settled when they wake up when you put them down. You do 10 minutes of yoga and then the baby on the mat next to you starts crying and before you know it, all the babies in the room are crying….not fun for anyone!
Much better to leave bub safely at home and get a whole hour of work-out and relaxation time 🙂