Exercise after having a baby can be quite intimidating! It is crucial that during the first 6 weeks after birth that you be sure to take it easy as to not cause any more trauma on your body. This is one reason that we have our postpartum checkups with our Doctor’s after birth! Once you have been cleared to start gentle workouts again, it can be hard to know what to do or what will be too hard on your body. It can also be daunting thinking about exercising because you are not sure what you will do with your baby (as many of us are not ready to be apart from our bundle of joy).
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Once you have received the OK from your Doctor to do exercise, getting back on the mat is a great way to dive in! You will want to make sure that you are in a class that will support your new body, because it really is new in many ways. You just delivered a baby, your levels of relaxin are still high (especially if you are breastfeeding) so your joints and ligaments are going to be more loose and less stable. The goal is not to shed the baby weight at this point but it is to stabalize, reconnect, and rebuild. Take it slow and steady and work your way up as you go. Postpartum Yoga is a great way to do all of this. You can go to a studio to do these classes but there are also great online source that you can use (and keep your baby right next to you)!
The Benefits of Yoga for New Moms
There are more benefits to yoga than you can imagine. It helped me rebuild my body but also connect with myself on a deep level that helped me stay calm and grounded. This was essential for me as a new mom because I was battling Postpartum Anxiety and I was also breastfeeding. Those may seem like two totally different realms but the yoga helped me as a coping mechanism and because I was able to find balance and grounding, my supply was able to regulate and not drop. Yoga will help to gently rebuild your body. Yoga will help to ground you and act as an anchor for your changing hormones and emotions. Yoga will help you bond with your baby. Yoga is absolutely life changing as a new mom.
Postpartum Yoga Will Aid In Better Sleep
As I touched before, there are so many benefits to Postpartum Yoga! One of these huge benefits is better sleep. At this point, you may be feeling like you will never sleep again or that you will not sleep well until your baby starts sleeping longer and 1-2 hour stretched. Those first couple months can be hard but yoga can actually still help. Even if your baby is sleeping short stretches, yoga can help with the quality of sleep you are getting through those periods. The stretches may be short but you will awake more rested. Better sleep also can help support your breast milk supply, your ability to focus, and increase your memory. Pregnancy Brain is real and so is Mom Brain. You need sleep! Depression can be triggered by sleep deprivation, so find a healthy way to cope with better quality sleep is a great resource to have!
Yoga Helps New Moms Balance Their Hormones
You have just spend 3 Trimesters with flucuating hormones and they are going to continue on a rollercoaster after the baby has come! Combine fluctiation hormone levels, lack of sleep, and a life changing event – you are going to find yourself needing some TLC. Yoga and the conscious breathing that the practice includes helps to regulate your hormones and act as an anchor in stablizing your inner self. There is science behind this but I will leave that to you to research more indepth (it is a rabbit hole).
Controlling Stress, Anxiety, and Depression After Baby
There is no sure cure for any of these things but you can always build an arsenal of coping skills to help you get through motherhood. Some new moms will use yoga as their main way of coping and others need to incorporate it along other measures (such as medication). There should never be any judgement as a new mom as to how you are coping with this life change. You are here reading thing which means you are looking for resources to help. You just experienced a stressful (and amazing) life altering event! You are dealing with new stress and juggling the world. Yoga is known to help regulate hormones, blood pressure, and induce a calming affect on the body! It sounds to me like this is a pretty awesome tool to have on you for handling Mom Life.
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Finding Time for Yoga After Baby
It can seem like there is absolutely no time for yoga after your baby is born. Let me tell you though, I started to doing yoga, at home, every day, once I was cleared by the Doctor. I did not do this because I wanted to get back in shape but I did it because I needed some way to cope with my Postpartum Anxiety without medication. I also needed to reconnect with myself, because after you have a baby, you become a different person. Some days I would do a 5 minute stretch. Some days I could get multiple practices out on the mat. There is no specific time limit you have to do this each day. It is more about meeting yourself where you can. When B was napping and I wasn’t tired, I would roll my mat out and get a little yoga in. As she got older, I learned that I could incorporate her into my practice and I was able to get longer sessions in that were amazing for the both of us! There is no reason your baby can’t be right next to you (on the mat) when you do your practice.
What You Will Need For Postpartum Yoga
If you are at a studio, you will want a yoga mat and a water bottle. We are going to do an at-home set up though for this. You will want a mat, blanket, rug, or carpeted area. There is no reason to go all out for this. Mats give great traction for your practice but when you are a new mom, you likely aren’t going to want to spend money or possibly run out to the store if you don’t have a mat. You do NOT have to have the whole get up. Just find a place that you will be able to stretch out in. Bring your baby on to the floor with you (or don’t)! And be sure to have water nearby. As a new mom, you will want to be drinking plenty of water, and when you start exercising again, you will want to up the amount you are already consuming. Take it easy and don’t rush back to class. Yoga is the perfect exercise to do at home.
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As a New Mom you are experiencing life changing events and are in a whirlwind of transition. It is important to take care of yourself so you can take care of your baby. Yoga is a great way to implement self-care and to also reconnect, rebuild, and strengthen your body and mind. There are so many benefits to yoga and you can use it as a coping mechanism for postpartum life. Postpartum Yoga is so friendly, you can even do it from your home! Don’t forget to get your FREE 5 Minute Baby+Me Yoga Session!
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