You have just given birth and the words "postnatal yoga" have been whispered in your ear? Don't leave yet... Dear moms, it's time to take care of yourself. If you're looking for information on postnatal yoga, this article is for you. When to start? What are the benefits? I hope, through this article, to make you aware of the importance of practicing this type of yoga during your postpartum, both for you and your little family.
Young mothers, you need softness!
Three months ago, I gave birth to my first child. During that moment, I was overcome by emotions of such intensity that it is difficult to put words to it. A wave invaded me, an inner strength bathed in love. Something I had never felt before. This baby was there, resting on me for the first time, and suddenly it was the only one that mattered. This being, who I hadn't known a second ago, had become the most important person in my life. Suddenly, his happiness mattered more, because he was so fragile, so dependent, and so much in need.
If you're a young mother yourself, you certainly know the feeling. The birth of a child is often a time when we put our needs in brackets. For weeks, I thought that being a mother always took a back seat. And yet, as a young mother, I can tell you now, after experiencing the tsunami of postpartum, you have such a great need to take care of yourself.
Indeed, an exhausted mother cannot take care of her child for very long. And since our babies are sponges, they need their parents to take time for them too. To recharge, to relax, to remember for a few minutes what it was like to think only for yourself. And how good it feels to be just you and not someone's mother or wife.
That's what postnatal yoga is for. Let's take a look at why it will help you and what it's all about.
What is postnatal yoga?
Postpartum yoga is designed to help young mothers regain their physical and emotional balance after giving birth. It can be practiced with or without the baby, depending on the mother's choice.
It is the doctor and yoga teacher Bernadette De Gasquet who developed this discipline in France, as well as prenatal yoga. Indeed, for years, Dr. De Gasquet has been fighting for women to reconnect with their bodies gently postpartum, while preserving their perineum. She believes that women should resume or begin yoga within a week of giving birth, even in the case of a caesarean section. This, unless of course there is a medical contraindication.
Of course, there is no question of doing head down and hand balancing. Postnatal yoga sessions propose to work in a lying position with very slow movements and lots of breathing. There is no question of rushing the body that has just undergone a cataclysm, on the contrary. As the sessions progress, you will be able to strengthen your perineum and abdominal muscles quietly and effortlessly. Indeed, according to Dr. De Gasquet, it is essential to begin your perineal rehabilitation gently before the famous 6-week post-delivery appointment.
In addition, postnatal yoga sessions are designed to take care of the new mother who is often exhausted after giving birth and has little time to care for her. Participating in a yoga class offers her a bubble of well-being where she can finally let go.
Moreover, the sessions are also moments of complicity with her baby. A good way to strengthen her bond with him in a calm environment. It's also a time of exchange since the young moms will be able to meet other moms on the spot. Often, they end up getting together a little before or after the sessions over tea to discuss their questions and emotions with women who are going through the same thing they are going through at the same time. We leave the mask of the perfect mother to show ourselves, more fragile, sometimes filled with fears or saddened. Then it is sure, one leaves these sessions necessarily lighter, having left what weighs behind.
Why practice postnatal yoga?
Your body has just completed a marathon. It will take several months to fully recover. Personally, three months later, I still feel that my body is very weak...
Indeed, during pregnancy and childbirth, your body is put to the test. It takes time to repair the damage.
What's more, what doesn't help is that you've become a mom. For months at a time, you'll have to carry your baby on one side and then bend over to grab him or her in bed on the other side. Your body will continue to be abused. In fact, many moms end up with severe pain in their wrists when they catch their little wonder, called "young mommy tendonitis. You may be breastfeeding and your breasts may have changed. This is still something your body has to adjust to. There's a whole balance to regain.
Your body needs stretching and some postures to release all its tensions, especially in the back and shoulders, which are weakened by postpartum and breastfeeding.
In addition, as fatigue builds up, you will need to rest more often throughout the day. But do you give yourself that time? Yoga can help you relax, gain energy, but also make it easier for you to get to sleep.
Taking time for yourself
Moreover, with an infant, we tend not to see the time passing and to put aside our desires. Thus, it is often difficult to unroll your yoga mat at home. As a result, it can be beneficial to have a commitment to a teacher. It's a niche you can't escape, even if it's time for a bottle or it's been a bad night.
In our society, mothers need to be courageous and keep smiling at all times. After the birth, it is rare that you are asked, "How are you doing? ». And if you are asked, you will often find yourself answering "I'm fine" when your body and mind are screaming in your heart about something else entirely.
Remember that you have just performed a miracle and that you deserve the world's attention. So, moms, give yourself this gift: sign up for a postnatal yoga class near you, so you can take a break from what's expected of you and be "real" for a few moments.
Although it is often said that a baby is ALL happiness, it is not always the case. The postpartum period is not easy for young mothers, who often find themselves overwhelmed and filled with an enormous sense of loneliness. The practice of postnatal yoga will allow you to put on your mat the emotions that pass, the worries that bother you and will help you to calm down. Through gentle movements and breathing, you will gradually regain serenity and come out of your class regenerated and ready for the next adventure.
Postnatal Yoga: how do the sessions take place?
Postnatal yoga is not just a gentle yoga class but a style of yoga in its own right inspired by the postpartum period and designed for moms. It helps to close the pelvis, stretch the back, engage the deep muscles. This is done with great gentleness and kindness.
In addition, in order to protect the perineum and to avoid organ descent, young mothers are often advised to lie down as long as possible during the 6 weeks following birth. Indeed, gravity is the enemy of the body after childbirth. Thus, postnatal yoga postures are done lying on the back or on the side but also on all fours to unload the perineum.
Through this practice, the young mother will be able to regain awareness of her perineum and understand the link between her breathing and this area of the body.
The benefits of postnatal yoga
To summarize, here are some of the benefits of postnatal yoga:
- Reclaiming your body
- Unwinding tensions
- Slowly strengthen the perineum and abdominals
- Recuperate some energy despite short nights
- Exchanging with other moms
- Enhance your body and your image
Can I start before my perineal rehabilitation?
It is possible to do postnatal yoga sessions before starting the perineum rehabilitation. Indeed, the postures are adapted to it and one does not exert by too strong tensions on this zone. On the contrary, the practice will allow you to quietly strengthen your perineum and abdominal muscles.
What should I do with my baby during my postnatal yoga class?
Postpartum yoga sessions can be done with your baby. Of course, it can be difficult to keep your baby during this time. You don't have the desire or the practical means.
Therefore, children are welcome during classes. You don't have to worry if your baby is a little fussy on the day of your first session. In fact, teachers know that postnatal yoga classes can't be as quiet as regular classes.
However, generally, babies tend to stay calm because they're charmed by the quietness of the place and the people in attendance. In addition, the teacher will always be able to rock them for a few moments if needed. It is also possible to stop the postures at any time to meet your baby's needs. Even if you don't do the whole session, the benefits of practice will be felt. Finally, be aware that some postures can be done while breastfeeding.
In fact, your teacher will guide you through the session to adapt it to your needs and those of your child. Trust him: he knows the situation you are in and will offer you a caring circle in which to relax, without any judgment.
I had an episiotomy or caesarean section, can I practice postnatal yoga?
It is quite possible to practice this type of yoga after a caesarean section or episiotomy. The postures are done while lying on your back or on your side in order to avoid putting the body under tension.
So even in this case, you will be able to come to these classes because they will be adapted to your condition. In addition, these sessions will have many benefits on your recovery.
Indeed, in case of a tear or episiotomy, putting this area in motion will accelerate healing and avoid adhesions that can be painful weeks after childbirth.
For Caesarean sections, the recovery time will probably be naturally longer, but breathing exercises and postures will again help to recover tissue in the abdomen and uterus.
Sometimes yoga studios offer mother-baby yoga classes. Although this practice is often confused with postnatal yoga, they are two different styles of yoga. Mother-baby yoga can be started several weeks after delivery, when the baby is already a few months old.
In these classes, the baby will be solicited during the postures and we will seek above all the complicity and the awakening of the baby. This is not the case in postnatal classes where the focus is on the mother.
You now have all the information to begin postnatal yoga. If you gave birth a few weeks ago, it's never too late to start taking care of yourself. Do not hesitate to contact a yoga teacher trained in this field. He or she will be able to direct you to a class adapted to your condition.