Postnatal Yoga for your best self and the baby

September 9, 2016

Pregnancy what a whirlwind of beauty, ups and downs and miracle creation.  A journey that the body experiences so much in such a short time. From morning sickness, fatigue, sore back and other growth and development that one cannot imagine, to make room for the little bundle of joy.

After the birth, the body must recover, to return its self-back to health and its best self; so you can continue to give to take care of your new born babies needs and also your own.

Being a new mother our bodies are continually in a changing state with breast feeding, hormones and body returning to a new and wiser version of its self.  However, remember there is no doubt that you can expect to be strong, healthy and jubilant again.  And this can all be assisted by yoga and the good thing is moms are not the only ones that get benefits from yoga, babies will too.

Here are a few yoga poses to help mama and baby as they journey into a new life together of fitness, health and happiness:

Mama Poses

Pelvic Floor

After labor and pregnancy often the pelvic floor is challenged and weakened.  There is often less ability to control one’s bladder and to feel sexual sensations.  If you have a serious weakness it could result in an organ prolapse matter, so it is important to address your pelvic floor strength.

But never fear Kegel exercises are here.  These small but powerful contractions assist in correcting incontinence and strengthening the weakened pelvic floor.  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 3 – 5, hold for 3 – 5, and release for 3 – 5. Repeat 10 times.

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Neck and Shoulder Ache

Breast feeding and caring for a small bundle of joy can create a lot of stress on the body.  With many hours of cradling a little one it can cause miss alignment in the body and an ache in the neck and shoulders.  This can also result in rounded shoulders and a hunched back that also causes back pain and headaches.

But fly with me into ache free shoulders and back with Gomukhasana (crow face pose) arms. While feeding your little, keep your shoulders away from your ears and the shoulder blades down the back.  If you want to try a more active method 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.

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Abs no more

As we grow a little baby our abs must stretch and become weakened by inactivity to allow them to stretch for the baby.  Please note before starting ab work after birth, have clearance from your doctor.  Normal rule of thumb to start ab work is 4-6 weeks after vaginal birthing and 8 weeks after cesarean, when all is in order.  Before you start your ab work it is advisable in the first few weeks to build your pelvic floor muscles first, otherwise it could create too much pressure in the pelvic floor, which could create pain or complications.

Now onto ab strengthening, with a little gentle rocking and rolling of the pelvic area after birth and starting slowly it can make some huge differences. Start with 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.

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Strong Fatigue

Not only are you having to recover from creating a miracle and giving birth you must also feed and be awake every few hours to tend to your little one’s need.   It doesn’t exactly make time to become a well-rested person.  Although sleepless nights are enviable we can lessen the fatigue in the waking hours.

Literally let’s put our legs ups with Viparita Karani (Legs up the wall pose).  When exhaustion sets in you start to breathe shallower.  Viparita Karani helps us to reopen our chest and lungs to encourage deeper breathing. This in turn aids R&R Rest 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.

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Baby Poses

Colic and Upset Stomach

A baby is very fragile and often babies can have painful experiences and problems with their digestive system like colic.  When your baby has an upset tummy often this yoga position helps to lessen or eliminate the gas.

Knees to Chest

To start, gently draw your baby’s knees to chest so that any bubbles release. For gas relief place baby on his back and slowly move his knees up into his belly. Hold for a few seconds, then release the pressure, and stroke baby’s legs to help him relax. Repeat several times. Next, bring baby’s knees back to his belly and circle his thighs in a clockwise direction a number of times. You can also try bicycling baby’s legs, alternating bringing one knee in to his belly while lengthening the opposite leg.

The new hit Song or Album Long Bouts of Crying

There are so many reasons for a little one’s tears.  But if you are tired and you need a little bit of silence try this, it not only calms the baby but promotes an opportunity to bond mama and baby.

Breathe in breathe out and let the Ujjayi breathing assist.

Hold your infant close your chest. Start deep Ujjayi breathing by audibly inhaling and exhaling through your nose with your mouth closed. The deep, rhythmic sound of your breath could very well soothe your baby. And if she continues to cry, it’s still a worthwhile endeavor: Ujjayi breathing will help mom stay calm and centered—even while holding a fussy and crying baby.

Be sure to check Rhyanna out at www.rhyannawatson.com

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PLEASE NOTE: Following and/or participating in my blog, daily workouts, meal plans, and any tips or advice is solely your decision. I recommend checking with your physician prior to following any of the workouts or meal plans that I share. I am very open in sharing that I am not a health care professional, personal trainer, nutritionist, or counselor. I provide the workouts, meals, and tips that have worked for me based on my personal experiences.

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