If you are like many women, you may be feeling shocked and surprised after you give birth about how much of your body is still attached to the baby. The 3 months following birth is called the 4th trimester. We are carry mammals and need to keep baby attached to us. Baby needs us and although it seems surprising, our bodies and minds need them, too.
That doesn’t mean we have to wait for 3 months to start mindfully moving our bodies, to connect with ourselves. To honor this transformation that has taken place. Your body is not meant to return to its pre-pregnancy state, after all that work you did growing and Birthing, you can now claim super powers as you continue to nurture and feed and grow your baby.
To start honoring your magnificent postpartum self within the first 6 weeks of birth while your baby is where she wants to be; in your arms; here is some simple yoga that will help to stretch and strengthen your back:
1)While holding your baby on his belly along your chest, lie down on the floor with your head on a pillow. Bend your knees bringing the soles of your feet on the floor. Start to notice your alignment. Take a few moments as you start to be aware of your breath to make yourself comfortable. Inhale feel your belly expand, exhale allow your shoulder blades to expand across the floor. Continue noticing your breath, and bring your knees up as your baby lies comfortably on your chest, hold your knees while your baby is snuggled in close to you. As you inhale, feel expansion and opening in your body, and as you exhale, bring your knees in a little closer towards your chest, broadening through your upper back and allowing your middle to relax into the floor. As you feel strong enough for more sensation, move your knees in a circle with your hands. Try 5 or 6 breaths to begin with.
2) Come back to center. Feel your body align. Keeping your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor, wrap your arms around your baby giving yourself and your baby a big hug. Lift your knees, gently roll to your right side allowing your lower back to be massaged by the floor. If you have had a C-Section, separate your knees being very gentle with yourself as you roll. If you feel the need to have more sensation and it feels like it will honour your body, to get a further stretch in your back; as you lie on your right side, bring your left arm out to the side while you hug your baby with the right arm. Breath fully and gently into any tension. To roll to the other side, hug yourself and your baby with both arms, bring your left leg over followed by your right. As your body is healing and it becomes easier to roll, try keeping your legs closer together as you roll. On this side, hold your baby with the left arm, and only if it feels delicious, allow your right arm to extend away from your body. Allow yourself to do the least amount of work that still feels like you are moving and stretching your lower back and your oblique abdominal muscles. Breathe fully and deeply for a few rounds until you come back to center.
3) Bring the soles of your feet to the floor. Keeping the left knee bent, and hugging your baby with your left arm, stretch your right leg out, and raise your right arm alongside your ear over your head. Inhale fully feeling yourself broaden through the back. Exhale and stretch your right fingers and right foot away from each other, lengthening through the whole right side of your body. Inhale allowing your belly to rise and expand. Exhale feeling the stretch more fully from fingers to toes. Repeat this breath for several counts, then keeping your left leg bent, bring sole of your left foot to the outside of the right knee. Breath into your belly and as you exhale stretch from your right fingertips to your right foot, starting to slowly work your transverse abdominal muscles. Breathe fully for several rounds until you feel complete, and then switch sides, holding baby with your right arm, stretching your left leg out and left arm up alongside your ear behind your head while your bend your left knee bringing the sole of the left foot to the floor. Repeat the exercise on this side.
Use this quiet time to be aware of your breath. Start to notice where you may be feeling tension. Allow yourself the time to be here with your child. To be in the present moment. Being present is the work.
Intuitive parenting comes as we are able to be quiet with ourselves while we are in a whirlwind of newness. When we are able to connect with our breath we also honour our connection with our baby.
We have class 9am Monday mornings at Busy Bodies, 1004 Fulton St, Brooklyn; and not only will we practice these simple stretches and others, we will bring that connection to each other, to our babies and learn about connecting through Flower Essences to our emotions and our baby’s emotions.