Learn the benefits of postnatal yoga after normal delivery and childbirth, and why postpartum yoga exercises should be part of your postpartum care plan.
You’ve finally delivered your baby after those nine long, weary months of waiting for the Big Day. Good for you! Now you long to see yourself back in shape. Well, your postpartum care plan is just starting.
Caring for a newborn is far from easy, but exercise is an important part of postpartum care for moms. With a tiring and stressful routine that involves caring for a newborn, you need to choose a form of exercise that’s easy on your body and mind.
You need a postpartum routine you can do whenever you have some spare time. Under these circumstances, there’s really nothing better than postnatal yoga and yogic stretches.
There are many benefits of postpartum yoga for new moms looking for an easy, light, low-impact postpartum workout. Yoga is the best postpartum workout because it heals your body, mind and tissues, helps in restoration of hormonal balance, and reduces stress and anxiety.
Precautions For Postnatal Yoga
Doctors recommend that before launching any kind of postnatal exercise regimen, a new mother needs to wait at least six weeks to start postnatal yoga after normal delivery and more (at least three months) if it was a C-section.
After delivery, the abdominal muscles become sensitive, so it’s always advisable to get a go-ahead from your doctor before starting yoga. Asanas like Boat Bose, Warrior Pose, Triangle, and some relaxation yoga poses like cow pose, cat pose is very helpful for new moms.
But, it also depends on the mother’s body, so don’t jump directly into asanas. Be gentle with your body and start with a safe, gentle, postpartum workout that includes breathing exercises and meditation, and then gradually shift to asanas.
8 Benefits Of Postnatal Yoga After Pregnancy
This list of benefits of postnatal yoga after normal delivery and childbirth will show you why postpartum yoga exercises should be part of your postpartum care plan.
Before you begin postnatal yoga, ensure that residual bleeding has stopped and your doctor has approved your postpartum exercise plan. If you were practising pregnancy yoga poses before delivery, you may not face these issues as much.
Here are some of the post-pregnancy problems that postpartum yoga can help with:
1. Correct poor posture
You’ve carried your baby for nine months in your belly and this has probably affected your posture. Breastfeeding and carrying your baby around, sometimes in your hands and at times on your waist, increases the weight on your back.
You can learn yoga at home with free yoga videos that teach yogasanas to help strengthen your core, straighten your back, shoulders and neck and give you back your natural poise.
2. Boost energy levels
All your attention is now on your baby and her requirements. With the number of waking hours involved, it is very difficult for you to get proper sleep and you feel tired and drained most of the time.
You can boost your energy level by focusing on your breathing and learn postnatal yoga breathing exercises that help refresh and invigorate you.
3. Manage postnatal depression
Postnatal depression is another issue many new moms deal with. Neglecting yourself and taking care of your baby all day can take a toll on your hormones and mood.
Looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing your flab doesn’t help either. Not being able to go out, dress up well or meet your friends can bring on postpartum depression for many moms.
Postnatal yoga poses can help you build self-confidence and deep breathing will calm and relax you. Starting a postnatal yoga and meditation practice can help manage depression and anxiety in new moms.
4. Improve bladder control
Many mothers experience bladder control problems and incontinence, as well as decreased sexual pleasure. Yoga and pelvic floor or Kegel exercises help to strengthen and tone pelvic floor muscles and improve bladder control and urine flow.
5. Strengthen abdominal muscles
Your abdominal muscles will sag after pregnancy. Yoga exercises like kapalbhati for flat stomach can help you strengthen abdominal muscles and flatten your post-pregnancy tummy.
6. Prevent backache
Backaches and stiffness are common health issues that many new moms experience after pregnancy. Nursing and rocking your baby can worsen your problem. You can include yogasanas to help stretch your spine and provide relief from backaches in your postnatal plan.
7. Improve digestion
Many new moms experience postpartum digestive disorders. There are a number of yogasanas that can help improve digestion if you practice them for just ten minutes a day.
8. Do postnatal yoga with baby
While you’re busy taking care of your baby’s needs all day, it can be difficult to set aside time for your basic requirements, leave it alone for exercise.
Yoga can be the best postpartum workout with baby, and a relaxing and bonding experience, even if you practice just a couple of poses in your spare moments.
If you want to try postnatal yoga with baby, a gentle massage is considered best during your mom and baby yoga session.
Postnatal Yoga Asanas For New Moms
Here are some postnatal yoga asanas and tips for new moms who want to start a postpartum yoga practice.
Tadasana is absolutely essential for your posture and so is vrikshasana or the tree pose which tones your leg muscles and gives you poise.
Empower your bowels:
Vajrasana, uttithapadasana pawanmuktasana and markatasana can be really helpful in keeping your digestive system stable.
Sculpt your tummy:
Uttithapadasana or the alternate lifting of legs while lying on your back with your hands by your hips and palms facing down is said to be the best asana for tightening your abdominal muscles.
You can lift your legs at an angle of 30 to 40 degrees or 70 to 80 degrees and concentrate on different parts of your abdomen.
Practice yoga breathing exercises like kapalbhati for flat stomach. This ancient yoga breathing exercise can be quite difficult to do, as it requires a lot of abdominal muscles and belly strength.
Kapalbhati pranayama is great if you want to lose weight and get a flat stomach.
Strengthen your pelvis:
Bhadrasana is good for the muscles of the urogenital region, facilitating a fresh flow of blood to them. It also makes the knee, hip and ankle joints more elastic.
Relieve your backache:
Yoga poses like bhujangasana, paschimottanasana and shalabhasana stretch the spine and relieve back problems.
Soothe your nerves:
Anuloma Viloma pranayama (breathing technique with alternate nostrils) is extremely beneficial for the nerves as it clears them of any obstructions. It is said to open up both the sides of your brain, helping in balanced thinking.
Shavasana is strongly recommended for relaxation. Bhramari pranayam eases out any kind of mental agitation and tension. It also has beneficial effects on your ear, nose, eyes and mouth and imparts a glow to your face. The chanting of Om is said to purify your environment and give you peace of mind.
You must keep in mind that yogasanas must always be done two hours after a heavy meal. Also, you should be gentle with your body and never stretch yourself beyond your limits. You should intersperse the practice of all asanas with Shavasana so that your body does not get tired.
Your postnatal yoga journey should be a reset for your body, mind, and spirit in the transition from pregnancy to parenthood, whether for your first time or whether you’ve been through the journey before.
ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST! Depending on whether you had a natural birth or cesarean, your doctor may recommend six weeks or more of recovery before resuming normal physical activities such as postnatal yoga or other intense forms of exercise. In any event, it is recommended that you receive permission from your doctor before resuming yoga to avoid any discomfort or injuries.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this web site is presented for the purpose of educating people. Nothing contained on this web site should be construed nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Should you have any healthcare-related questions, please call or see your physician or other qualified health care provider promptly. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet, or fitness program.
About the author:
Ira Trivedi is a bestselling author and Master of Yoga or Yoga Acharya who teaches classical Hatha yoga. She has written eight books, including fiction, non-fiction and children’s books.
Ira’s books have been published by leading publishers in India and internationally. She has won several awards for her work. She has yoga television shows in India and is the founder of Namami Yoga an organisation that teaches yoga to organizations and individuals in India.
Ira teaches yoga around the world and was part of the team leading the first International Day of Yoga at Rajpath New Delhi, where two Guinness World Records were created for the largest yoga lesson and for the most nationalities in a yoga lesson.
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Thank you, Lipika.