Postnatal Yoga Suggestions
Hi Melissa, My name is Lorena and I live in Munich Germany. I wrote to you before, regarding issues with hip pain during pregnancy.
Now I have a question about postpartum yoga. Are there any specific exercises that you recommend which would be good? I think probably slow and steady would be the way to go, but I just wanted to ask. Have a great day,
Dear Lorena, Congratulations on your baby! 🙂
As always I am a Ph.D. and not a medical doctor, so it is always best to consult your medical doctor as to what is best for your body and specific situation. Most doctors will recommend returning to physical exercise 2+ weeks postpartum for a normal vaginal birth delivery and 4-6 weeks postpartum fallowing a cesarean or traumatic vaginal birth.
It is important to stop your exercising or yoga if you have any heavy bleeding for example you have to replace your pad every 1/2 hour for several hours, then you need to see your doctor. Also if you have pain anywhere, stop. For more information on pain see this blog post: https://www.melissawest.com/pain-vs-aches/
Finally if you have a breast infection or abscess, you need to stop your exercise and get a doctors appointment as well.
Some other things to consider stopping your exercise program following giving birth to your baby would be a cesarean birth or traumatic birth. Here it is really important to pay attention to your body and allow your pain to be a deciding factor to your continuation. Also pay attention to your breast discomfort, you may require extra support or relief if your breasts are engorged from nursing. If you have heavy urine leakage that last more than two weeks, please see your doctor.
When you do return to your yoga and or exercise program, make sure that you feel good and that your yoga practice is enhancing your well being. Now is not the time to chart progress or performance, rather to increase your energy and feelings of confidence and well being. 🙂 Check in after each yoga practice to see how you are doing and make sure you are getting adequate rest. For every hour of exertion you need to get an hour of rest. You also need to make sure you are staying well hydrated, especially if you are nursing. Not only do you need to stay well hydrated, but you also need to make sure you are getting adequate caloric intake. Your baby is another important factor to consider, make sure infant weight gain is normal as well.
As far as the best exercises for postpartum, I think one of the most important things is to restore your pelvic floor, especially if you have had a vaginal birth.
Here are some blog posts on this topic:
Namaste Yoga 73 is a whole episode dedicated to the Bandhas and includes root lock which works your pelvic floor.
On the membership site we have a class called, Yoga for Posture which is a great class for confidence and core strength. I also think this would be a great class to bring a woman’s body back into alignment and balance postpartum.
I hope this helps Lorena.