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Before you begin your exercise routine, it is important that you have received medical clearance by your doctor to exercise, practice patience with yourself and your body, and rest, lots of rest! I recommend waiting at least 8 weeks before beginning any strenuous exercises. After your recovery, yoga can be a relaxing and beneficial way to begin introducing exercise back into your daily regimen.
Yoga can aid in healing your abdominal muscles, building pelvic floor and core strength, improve body and organ alignment, and your mental health. As you begin adding specific yoga poses back into your daily routine, you may begin experiencing relief from diastasis recti, pelvic floor issues, tight shoulders, chest, and hips, and help you feel more energized and relaxed while caring for your new child.
In this article we hope to address any questions or concerns you may have regarding postpartum exercise.
How Soon After Giving Birth Can I Do Yoga?
We recommend taking your time to heal and bond with your baby before you start exercising. So often women struggle with feeling a need to get back into their normal regimen and daily activities without allowing proper time for rest and recovery. This can be especially true of postpartum people who experienced no pregnancy complications or delivered naturally. As stated above, allowing 8 weeks or so to begin yoga practice is important for your health and overall well-being.
Postpartum Yoga After Normal Delivery
If you had a normal delivery, you may begin feeling like yourself much sooner than other women who experienced either a c-section or complications during their delivery. However, it is still important to rest and to begin gradually introducing yoga poses into your daily routine. Make sure that you feel comfortable during your exercises and if you experience any pain or discomfort, to wait a few more days to a week before returning to your yoga practice.
When Can You Do Yoga After C-Section?
If you delivered via c-section, it may take longer for you to begin feeling yourself again. That’s okay! You experienced a lot of trauma and pain during your delivery and it is important for you to rest. We especially recommend a 5-5-5 step program during the first few weeks of your recovery – 5 days of rest, 5 days within reach of your bed, and 5 days within a short distance from your bed. Talk with your doctor before beginning any exercises or yoga poses that may affect your abdominal muscles and belly.
Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight After Pregnancy?
Although losing weight should never be the top priority in returning to yoga postpartum, yoga can help you lose some of the baby weight you’ve gained during your pregnancy. There are many other benefits to contributing yoga into your postpartum regimen:
Body knowledge: Yoga can help you become familiar with vital parts of your body as you begin the restoration process.
Body / Posture Alignment: Your body has undergone a lot of physical stress during your pregnancy and after your delivery. Many women experience shoulder, neck, bain, back, and hip pain due to delivering, carrying, and breastfeeding their child. It is also common for your organs to be displaced during your delivery. Yoga can help restore your body’s alignment and help loosen those tight muscles in your shoulders and chest!
Mental Health: Participating in a postpartum yoga program can help you get to know other people, participate in relaxing and calming practices, and reduce stress and postpartum depression.
What is Postnatal Yoga?
Postpartum yoga is a one postpartum practice you can start a few weeks after your delivery. Not only can yoga help relieve symptoms of diastasis recti and a weakened pelvic floor, but it can also be a great way to relax and gradually regain your strength during your recovery. Below we have compiled a few yoga poses we believe are beneficial in your early recovery.
This gentle pose can help alleviate pain in your chest and neck while properly engaging your pelvic floor and low back.
Start this pose by resting on your hands and knees. Extend your arms slightly in front of you while relaxing your lower body and butt down toward your heels. Gradually lengthen the distance between your knees, but keep your feet together. Hold this position for 30 seconds and breathe restfully.
Tadasana – Mountain pose
A mountain pose is a standing pose which engages your abdomen, pelvic floor, and back.
Stand with your big toes together and your heels slightly apart. Ensure that your weight is distributed evenly between your feet. Relax your arms at your side with palms and biceps facing forward. Inhale, and gently lift your ribcage to be evenly distanced from your pelvis. Place your palms gently on your sides for lower back stability, and exhale slowly. Repeat 5 – 10 times as you are able.
A pelvic tilt is beneficial in strengthening your lower and upper back as well as your hips and legs.
To begin, lie on your back with your feet aligned with your hips and your arms resting at your sides, palms face down. Gently curl your tailbone so that your spine is settled on the floor. This will relieve any pressure you may feel in your lower back. Inhale and begin slowly exhaling as you gently lift your hips upward, tilting your pelvis as you continue tucking in your tailbone. Hold for 2 – 3 breaths and slowly lower yourself back to your starting position. Repeat 5 to 10 times as you are able.
It is important that if you feel any pain or discomfort during these exercises, that you pause and wait until you are able.