CAN I START YOGA FOUR WEEKS AFTER GIVING BIRTH?
Q: My baby is four weeks old now and I’m feeling a bit more human and energetic again. I’d like to start yoga, but I don’t know where to start or which type of class to pick.
A: Genna answers: Yoga with your baby in special Mommy & Baby yoga classes is a great way to re-enter the world after the initial weeks following birth. Special Mommy & Baby classes start from six weeks. This is an important milestone as before that, baby is very vulnerable to the outside world and still needs to build immunity and acquire some head control, while mom needs to recover from the process of birth, which has depleted her on many levels, especially if mom has had a caesarean. These classes are a great way to encourage mommies out of their newfound nesting cocoons and slowly get mom moving again in a healthy and beneficial way while bonding with baby. Some exercises involving baby stimulate their development too and aid in introducing awareness to them of their bodies and their surroundings. In some cases mothers have diastasis recti (splitting of abdominal muscles) and this can be addressed in special postpartum yoga. Generally though, moms need to regain their strength and energy after birth without causing too much strain as relaxin hormones are still present in the body, so classes are gentle. Carrying a growing baby as well as holding and feeding a baby (both breast and bottle) can create tension in the upper back and hips which needs to be released as it can cause quite a bit of discomfort. On the other hand, the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor need to be tightened in order for moms to regain strength and tone in areas that have been weakened during pregnancy. As interrupted sleep is a normal way of life for most moms, the opportunity to relax is also a special gift and yoga provides the space to do just that while bonding with baby.