During pregnancy it can feel like all eyes are on the baby, and a little check in with the pregnant person. The baby is delivered, again all eyes may be on the baby and a little check in with the now postpartum person. You are home with the baby, and then what? Where did all the support go? For me, this was the biggest draw to postnatal yoga classes! It was a place where I can take my newborn, I didn't need to arrange for childcare, have gentle movement tailored for my postpartum body, and a space where I could talk about what was new and coming up for me.
The postpartum body needs different mindful movement than a regular class. I just took my first regular vinyasa class, one year after having my baby, and boy oh boy I still feel not quite ready for a regular class. My wrists are already used during the day carrying a 20b toddler, my shoulders and neck are a wreck from looking down all day. I'm still working on my spinal alignment, and core strength. In a postnatal class all that is addressed and where needed, challenged.
Postnatal yoga address all these listed needs in every class. Neck releases, shoulder stretches, core appropriate moves to improve function of the inner core (transverse, multifidi, pelvic floor, diaphragm), hip strengtheners to improve symmetry of the pelvis, not to mention the benefits for mental health. Calming breath practices can help you find your inner buddha, centering and grounding, readying you to take on the rest of your day. Also, a sense of community being around like-minded individuals going through roughly a similar phase in life. Whether it's your first baby or additional.
The postnatal yoga classes I teach are centered around the postpartum person. This can include a nanny or care person. Baby can enjoy watching breath and movement from the comfort of their carseat or a yoga blanket (I recommend bringing your own blanket or swaddling blanket to put over the studio yoga blankets). Feel free to bring snacks and water for yourself. Running late? We understand! Need to feed or change the baby, that to can be done on your yoga mat. I'll show you comfortable feeding positions with the use of yoga props.
When can I attend a postnatal class? Clearance from your care provider is ideal. Another way to tell if you and your body is ready for movement is the sessation of bleeding. If you do some exercise or movement class and begin to bleed again or worsens the bleeding, it's your body telling you to slow down, it's not ready.
For the anatomy nerd: Why do we bleed after having a baby? This is true for C-Sections as well. When the placenta is delivered it leaves behind a wound where it was attached to the uterus thus leaving a wound in the womb. Please allow the body to heal before proceeding regular exercise. Need to move? Walk! Walking has so many benefits from healing hemorrhoids, getting some fresh air which will help improve baby blues, working on posture and spinal alignment, getting the blood flowing... the list can go on. Work on pelvic floor while seated and every time you get up from where you are seated or before you lift the baby.
I am here to help! I teach Postnatal classes Friday at 11am. Please feel free to bring baby. This unfortunately isn't a class for when baby moves into toddler-dom and is very mobile. That will require some childcare. But, if you have the support, then come on in! Postpartum is for life! So if you feel like you need to take it slow and like I mentioned earlier in the post, have issues unique to postpartum that is not addressed in a regular class, register!
I look forward to seeing you at the studio!
Some of My Favorite Postpartum Books:
Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn by Penny Simkin, Janet Whalley, Ann Keppler, Janelle Durham, and April Bolding
Diastasis Recti by Katy Bowman
What Mother's Do especially when it looks like nothing by Naomi Stadlen
Note: I tried to use inclusive language in this blog post