Have you ever gotten baby to FINALLY fall asleep and you realize you've got your hand, writs or arm in an awkward position? You don't want to move baby so you stay and then notice your hand or arm start to fall asleep. Sound familiar? I know this happened to me a lot especially in those first few months. We find that wrists get sore from holding, nursing, rocking and feeding our babies and then as our little ones get bigger we begin lifting and carrying them in ways that irritate our wrists. Its amazing how sore our wrists can be int he postpartum period. You'll love this 3 minute quick practice to help you address some of these issues and you'll find your wrists feeling better in no time (want more? visit our online yoga videos)!
Let's face it, whether you've had your baby vaginally or via c-section, your pelvic floor will need attention postpartum. The simple fact that baby has been growing inside your belly for 9 months and gradually adding weight, and, therefore more pressure, to the pelvic floor means that pelvic floor muscles will be weak postpartum. Then if you had a vaginal birth with extended pushing or other trauma to the pelvic floor there is even more work to be done. The best thing you can do is start early, and practice often (and see a PT who specializes in pelvic floor!). This practice, once you have gotten clearance from your provider to being exercise, is a great one to add to your daily routine. Best thing? It takes just a few minutes. Need some more quick postpartum practices to add to your routine? Check out our series of online yoga videos!
In our last blog post we talked about ways you could modify your yoga practice in the first trimester to help account for some of those common aches, pains and discomforts that arise. As we look to the 2nd trimester, many folks consider this to be the honeymoon period. And for many people it feels that way...especially if they have experience nausea, morning sickness and exhaustion in the 1st trimester. That doesn't mean, however that the 2nd trimester is without its own new range of fun experiences to be had in the body. Here are some of the most common 2nd trimester complaints and how to modify your yoga practice to adjust for them:
As a postnatal yoga teacher, I saw countless new parents coming to class with tight necks, shoulders and chests from holding, rocking, carrying and feeding their new babies. I looked at the pain those parents were experiencing and vowed that I wouldn’t be that new parent. I would make time for myself, I would stretch, I would take care of myself.
Fast forward to 8 weeks postpartum, as I was getting back into some of my regular activity and the help of my partner and my mom was gone during the days. I was tight, I was sore and I WAS that new parent I swore I would never be. I had let go of my self-care routines, focused solely on baby, and was now paying the price in body pain. And was this really a bad thing in hindsight? Not necessarily, but what I came to realize is that I was keeping myself from releasing some of this pain because I had certain expectations.
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'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.
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.
Returning to yoga postpartum is very important to help address a lot of the aches and pains and healing the body experiences after your baby is born. It can also help address issues around sleep and some of the stress and anxiety that arises with being a new parent. However, “regular” yoga classes are not designed with the postpartum body in mind.
I recommend that postpartum, if you can find a postnatal yoga class or a mom and baby yoga class to support you, it is the very best thing that you can do for you and your new baby. Also, consider adding online postpartum yoga classes to your routine, these shorter practices can be easy to fit in when you can't make it to class. I highly encourage you to wait until you get the okay from your doctor or midwife before beginning any exercise postpartum whether it is yoga or otherwise. Here's what a postnatal yoga class can offer you that a regular class cannot.
In nearly every postnatal yoga class that I teach, mamas come to class and one of the first things they ask is how to get their abs back and how quickly they can get their pre-baby body back. In striving to make this happen, many mamas end up diving into intensive abdominal work postpartum that can actually end up doing more harm than good.
What we have to remember is that over the course of pregnancy our abdominal muscles are stretching and lengthening. We want this! We need to make room for the growing baby. As these muscles stretch and lengthen they lose some of their tone and they can also begin to separate. Postpartum, once the body is no longer housing the baby, these muscles need time to reintegrate and reconnect and begin working, slowly. Think of this, if you haven't been running for nine months, would you jump right in and run 10 miles in one day? In the same way, the abdominal muscles need to slowly be brought back into shape and tone with exercises that have a more subtle focus.
Is yoga safe during pregnancy? This is such a complicated question. Yes! Absolutely yoga is safe during pregnancy, however certain types of yoga and yoga postures are not safe during pregnancy.
The most important thing in pregnancy, with any exercises during pregnancy that you're seeking out, is working with a teacher who knows what a pregnant body should or shouldn't be doing. This means whether its yoga, or cross-fit or lifting weights, you should be working with someone who is trained in working with pregnant moms and knows how to best support your body as it changes throughout your pregnancy.
Wisdom and insight with a dash of humor to help guide you on your journey through motherhood.