Waiting for baby to arrive can be hard, waiting for baby to arrive after we've passed our due date can be even harder. I always like to tell students to think about it as a "due month" rather than a "due date." Anywhere from three weeks before to two weeks after your due date baby can arrive. This can take some of the pressure off that magical due date (on which only about 1% of babies are actually born!). With that in mind, once we pass our due date our care providers may start to encourage us to do things to get labor going. There's tons of tips and tricks out there but here are 3 quick things you can do that can help baby drop into position if that's what is keeping labor from starting.
Many mamas come to yoga for the first time during their pregnancy. Yoga is recommended by a care provider or a friend as a way to address some of the common discomforts that go along with inhabiting a pregnant body. It can also provide much needed mind-body practices that can help address stress and anxiety and potentially prepare one for childbirth. There are many folks though who have had a regular yoga practice up until the point of their pregnancy and want to continue doing their regular yoga classes. My advice? Definitely check out a prenatal yoga class or pregnancy yoga videos online this will give you an idea of what you can and can't do. And will also give you inspiration for modifications when you're in a class that is doing something not recommended for the pregnancy body. There are some general guidelines you can keep in mind in your practice:
I was at the gym the other day with my daughter packing up to go home. I had her sitting facing me while I gathered our things and an older woman walked up. She commented on my daughter's long hair (she has the hair of a 4 year old) and asked how old she was, 11 months. She then started saying "oh I remember when my daughter was that age..." and I braced myself. Anyone else have that happen? Well meaning strange stops to ask you about your kid and then proceeds to give you unsoliticited advice on how to range your kid? Oh just me? Anyway, so I braced myself...
A few weeks ago I was able to get myself to a yoga class. A yoga class, all by myself. Not one at home with my 11 month crawling around me and on me, not a 5 minute practice on her playmat during nap time or after she went to sleep, but an honest to goodness yoga practice at a yoga studio. Don't get me wrong, I've happily been embracing these smaller yoga practices that I squeeze in throughout my days as mamahood has changed immeasurable things in my life, my yoga practice being only a small thing in that long list, but I will say it felt freeing to go practice on my own.
Alright mamas, so we may all notice that as baby gets bigger and bigger we lose more and more of our abdominal support. It makes sense right? The abdominal muscles are stretching to make space for baby and can no longer support us in the same way the used to be able to. This means that finding other parts of our core for support becomes increasingly important in order to help support our backs during this time. This yoga practice for pregnancy is perfect to help teach you to engage your side waist (your obliques) and also your glutes to help give you core support and stability at this time. Give it a try!
New mamas, have you noticed how sore and tight your neck and shoulders are postpartum? This practice is for you! Hours upon hours of nursing/feeding our babies, rocking and holding and simply carrying them around wreaks havoc on our neck and shoulders. This quick little practice is the perfect daily practice to help unwind some of that tightness and help you manage some of the discomfort you're feeling. The great thing? This practice is also great for your partners too, because guess what? They're doing the same exact thing you are and I'll be they also are experiencing tightness in these areas. So make it a date! Sit down and do this practice together (once you finally get baby down to sleep!).
Let's face it, sometimes we are exhausted when we're pregnant...sometimes its hard to get up and down from the floor...or we may have limitations on the exercise we can do during our pregnancy...or maybe we work all day at a desk and need a practice we can bring to work to help us address the discomfort we're starting to feel from sitting all day. If any of these apply to you, this practice is for you! This is a prenatal yoga practice that you can easily do from your chair, whether sitting at home or sitting at work. All you need is you and a chair and 5 minutes. Got that? Let's go! Looking for other gentle practices to support you during your pregnancy? Visit our online yoga video subscription for more.
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)!
Ever notice how the further along in your pregnancy you get the tighter your legs get? Not to mention the calf cramps and restless legs that can start happening at night! One of the main reasons this happens is as we gain more weight both from baby's weight gain, and our own, we have more weight the legs must support. On top of that we also loose our core strength as the belly stretches and hips and low back start to take up the slack. When this happens we end up relying on our legs more. Do yourself and your legs a favor and add this practice to your week to help release those tight and sore legs. Looking for more yoga support for your prenatal yoga practice? Check out our whole library of online prenatal 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!
Wisdom and insight with a dash of humor to help guide you on your journey through motherhood.