The first few weeks after baby’s birth can be incredibly exciting but also very draining for a new mother. Not only are you coming to grips with your awesome new role, but you’re also getting by with much less sleep and experiencing intense new emotions.
No wonder so many new mums wonder what’s hit them!
Taking care of yourself can make a huge difference to your state of mind and body, helping you cope with sleep deprivation and letting you relax and enjoy the ride.
These three great exercises are designed to relieve stress and physical tension, improve your posture and relieve fatigue. They are must-dos in your postnatal yoga program and you can start doing them on day one.
These programs have been created by:
Katie Brown yoga teacher and infant massage specialist
Pelvic floor contractions; neck & shoulder release, neck retractions step by step
Pelvic floor contractions
Don’t worry if you don’t feel much at first. It can take time to regain strength and feeling to your pelvic floor muscle, especially if you’ve had a long labour or delivered a big baby. It’s very important to restore your pelvic floor as weakness in this area can lead to prolapse, incontinence and loss of sexual desire. Try to do at least 25 pelvic floor contractions a day. More if you can. There’s no such thing as too many.
- Sit comfortably cross-legged on your mat and relax your face and jaw
- Place your index fingers into the base of your thumbs
- This is a gesture of wisdom, which is very apt for mothers
- Exhale as you draw up your pelvic floor, trying not to squeeze your buttocks
- Inhale and gently release
**If you’ve had stitches, these contractions will help bring blood to the area and aid healing. As well as strengthening your pelvic floor, they will also help your uterus return to its original size
- Repeat, aiming for 20 + contractions a day
Neck & shoulder release
These nice and gentle stretches help to relieve upper body tension caused by long feeding sessions and carrying your baby and equipment.
- Sitting comfortably cross-legged on your mat or rug, with your index fingers in the base of your thumbs
- To begin, rotate your shoulders forward and back, then release your chin to your chest
- Gently roll your head and release your right ear towards your right shoulder
- Hold for a moment and then return back to your chest and release to the other side
- Keep slowly repeating in a semi-circle, feeling the release through the back of the neck and head
- To finish, take a deep breath in, raise your arms up, interlacing your fingers and gently stretch to the left and right
This yoga exercise is only a small movement but it will feel quite pronounced. It’s fantastic for easing “new parent’s neck” – tension and stiffness from gazing down at baby and prolonged feeding and carrying.
- Sit cross-legged on your mat, sit up tall and inhale
- As you exhale, draw your head backwards, creating a double chin
- Inhale back to the neutral position and repeat
- Finish by placing your hands upon your knees, index fingers tucked into thumbs, and take 3 long slow breaths
Next try Mum’s magic massage
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Last Published* December, 2022
*Please note that the published date may not be the same as the date that the content was created and that information above may have changed since.