I like to play music in my studio taught Prenatal Yoga classes and often after class a mama will come up and ask about the music I was playing. Many folks are seeking a playlist that feels authentic to them for their labor, and there are times where yoga music can feel particularly appropriate.
Some of the music I've included below is very soothing and calming, other music has a beat and is more uptempo. I've included favorite songs and a few of my favorite albums. The nice thing about yoga music is that, in general, there are few lyrics which can be helpful for many people during labor. A lot of folks report finding lyrics to be distracting. As you're putting together your labor playlist I encourage you to check some of these songs and albums out, and please comment with your favorites to share with other mamas.
Swollen feet and ankles is a common and uncomfortable complaint for many of my pregnant mamas. For many, this happens more toward 2nd and 3rd trimesters and can also be triggered by heat or other environmental factors. There are some folks that are simply more prone to swollen feet throughout their pregnancy, but a good percentage of folks will notice at least some slight swelling in the weeks before baby arrives. Part of the reason swelling takes place at this time is the body is preparing for childbirth, building up its stores of fluids with the knowledge that during childbirth many of these floods will be lost...ah, the wisdom of these bodies of ours! Regardless of the cause, swelling can be super uncomfortable. Here are some things you can do that may help bring you some relief!
I see a lot of mamas coming in to my yoga classes having been diagnosed as having a breech or transverse baby. Many of these mamas are diagnosed very early when babies are still moving around and finding their position, but some mamas are receiving this news at 38 weeks and beyond.
Up until about 35 weeks baby still has an opportunity to move and change positions quite a bit. After that time, movement becomes more limited and challenging. For folks who have been told baby is breech there are many things that can be done from acupuncture to chiropractics to spinning babies and more invasive procedures like version. Often folks will opt for something less invasive first to see if that is enough to encourage baby to move. Did you know that yoga is one of those things that can help?
I've seen this article and info circulating in birth and pregnancy circles recently and so many folks commenting "oh I'm on day 2 and this is killing me" or "I could barely get past day 4". Have any of you done this? Tell me your experience, I'm honestly curious.
It appears this article was written in 2016 and so is probably just making a resurgence as of late due to someone finding it on Pinterest or Instagram. I gotta say, as a prenatal yoga teacher and someone who has been pregnant myself, I have a BIG problem with this challenge for many reasons.
Happy international breast-feeding week everyone! As someone who recently started breast-feeding for the first time, I feel like things got off to kind of a rocky start. Did you have this experience? I felt prepared for childbirth, prepared for a baby but not so prepared for this thing my body and baby were naturally supposed to be able to figure out.
While everyone goes through their own individual struggles I do feel like there are a few things I can offer that I personally found helpful. There are some things that I really wish that I had on hand before in order to make my breast-feeding journey easier (so if you're pregnant now, its not too early to get these items! Trust me, don't wait till its too late!). Here's a list of things every new mama should have if they plan on breast-feeding:
I feel like there are some amazing warriors out there right now doing work around reclaiming the postpartum body, however, the majority of what you see in social media and in our broader culture is all around how quickly we can get back to our “pre-baby body.”
Language and imagery like this does a real harm to postpartum mamas. The postpartum journey for so many people is full of challenges and difficulties having nothing to do with losing weight or maintaining a particular body image. New mamas are struggling with lack of sleep, challenges with nursing and feeding, and for many of us trying to figure out how to take care of a tiny human for the very first time. It's overwhelming
I found myself on my acupuncturist’s table for the first time today in nearly 3 months. My beautiful 4 month old daughter was passed out on the floor while I got a treatment and as soon as I hit the table, I found myself taking a deep breath and thinking “what took me so long.” As a yoga teacher, and advocate to all my mamas of self care postpartum, here I was ignoring my number one rule, “taking care of you is also taking care of baby.” My body needed this time to relax, to unplug and also to heal. I had been neglecting my needs, which was surprising to me, given that I am constantly inviting others to be tuned into their own.
How did I get here?
I taught prenatal yoga for 9 years before becoming pregnant myself. I knew low back pain was a major part of pregnancy for most people. I knew anatomically why this was and I even knew ways to help prevent it. Let me tell you, I was still not prepared for the achy low back that showed up for me toward the end of my 2nd trimester and into my 3rd (and oh by the way, continued postpartum!).
Low back pain can be triggered by a myriad of things in pregnancy, one of the most common causes is the added load in the front of the body, courtesy of baby combined with the loss of abdominal of support (also thanks to baby) which causes the low back to have to work much harder and also get more exaggerated in its curvature. Not to mention all the bad postural habits we get into as our posture shifts that can further aggravate this issue.
Have you ever noticed how so much of our time during pregnancy is spent preparing for child birth and very little of it is spent preparing for EVERYTHING that comes after? We spend hours upon hours to prepare us for child birth, which in comparison to the postpartum period and new parenthood is really a blip on the radar, and yet its often us and the internet at 2am trying to fumble our way through the first few months of new parenthood.
The internet became my go to resource for so much information postpartum, and in those frantic searches for answers I realized how unprepared I felt. And I am guessing I wasn't alone in that.
In my previous post, I talked about how breath can help reduce the stress and anxiety that we experience after baby arrives. In this post, I will talk a little bit further about the underlying energy of anxiety. I will also offer a more specific practice that can help to address stress relief and also anxiety.
Anxiety in the body not only causes the mind to feel scattered but can also lead to issues with sleep and tension in the body, particularly around the neck, shoulders and jaw. For these physical symptoms, I have specific yoga videos that will help you release neck and shoulder tension, but creating a sense of calm and relaxation can be just as important as stretching the body with practices like yoga. And addressing anxiety can help to you also address some of these common issues for postpartum mamas.
Wisdom and insight with a dash of humor to help guide you on your journey through motherhood.