Updated: Nov 8, 2021
Giving birth often is described as the happiest moment in a woman’s life. Leaving behind all that surrounds the actual labour. You see this little angel and your heart fills with inexperienced joy and overwhelming love, you just created life. And it does not matter was it “natural”, s-section, in vitro - is still special and is your unique experience. This is the flower and roses side of becoming a mother. And most of the time is to what extend most women think of.
Now with pregnancy and delivery behind, a woman will enter a completely different world, and no matter how much you might have heard stories or made proper research as the story goes nothing can’t quite prepare you for motherhood. The sleepless nights, tired and aching body, your brain just cannot concentrate on anything apart from the baby. The muscles feel loose, the belly has been stretched for 9 months, shoulders are aching from breastfeeding. But hey when you see the little angel face all the above is probably melting.
You see this little angel and your heart fills with inexperienced joy and overwhelming love, you just created life.
Lie flat on the back. Bring your hands on your belly. Relax your shoulders.
On the inhale fill only the belly with air, on the exhale relax the belly. Without trying too hard allow the breath to expand with the inhales and relax with the exhales. On the inhale the hands will rise with the belly, on the exhale they will relax.
On the next inhale count for 3, belly rising (try to fill only the belly with air using the diaphragm). Exhale count for 3 belly and hands relaxing down.
Pelvic floor rocks
You can start the pelvic floor tilts even before the
initial 6 weeks (8 weeks for s section).
With the pelvic floor rocks, we connect to the deepest layer of the abdominal muscles
( Transverse abdominals )which wraps around the waist as a belt. This helps to strengthen and stabilise the area. You can start with 10 rounds and increase to 20 rounds.
Lie on the back, bend the knees, and stuck the knees directly above the ankles. Bring the hands by your side. Relax the shoulders and extend the neck away from the shoulders.
Exhale tilt the hips forward by drawing the tailbone under and closer to the pubic bone. Press the lower back down towards the floor by closing the natural lumbar curvature of the spine.
Inhale release. Exhale repeat the same as above noticing how your transverse abdominals engage. To increase this engagement on the exhale, press down towards the floor the palms, upper arms, and heels.
From the pelvic floor tilts relax for a moment keeping both knees bend. When you feel ready exhale extend the right leg slowly to a straight and supine position and bring it back on the inhale.
Pay attention to the core engagement when you bring the leg from being extended to a bend position. Repeat on the other side as you slide the leg as slowly as possible. Practice 5 on each side.
Kegel exercises in child pose
Come on the top of the mat with the knees apart and the big toes together. Place your hips on the top of your heels. If they cannot reach you can use a pillow (tip: if the baby is awake you can frame it with your hands).
Feel for a moment the pelvic floor area. Now imagine you want to go to the toilet and there is none around. Think which muscles you will engage to hold yourself when is starting to get dramatic. Squeeze these muscles, hold for 5 seconds, and then release. Repeat the same 5 rounds, gradually increasing to 20 rounds.
Tadasana or Mountain pose with a block
Come standing with your feet at least hip-distance apart or more. Place a yoga block or harder pillow in between your inner thighs. Rotate the hips inwards (from the outer edges towards the centre at the front) and gently squeeze the block between the legs on the inhale. On the exhale release. Repeat 5 times.
After practicing this for a couple of times add a toe balance. On the inhale come on the soles of your feet while you are squeezing the block between the inner thighs. Tuck your tailbone gently under and tighten the outer thighs.
Relax the feet flat on the exhale. Repeat up to 10 times focusing on squeezing the block and rotating the outer thighs inwards.
The back muscles can get tensed when we have loosened core muscles and especially the lower back. Bridge pose is a wonderful way to relax the back and strengthen it. At the same time helps to release tension from the lower back, to open the chest, and strengthen the thigh muscles and glutes. In postnatal bridge pose we are not lifting though as high as it feels comfortable but rather keeping the shoulders, hips, and knees in one line.
On the exhale place your heels directly under the knees, feet hip distance apart facing forward, back flat, hands by your side. Exhale tilt your hips forward, tucking the tailbone gently under. Inhale lift the hips and back of the floor to a knee’s height. Press firmly the upper arms and shoulders on the floor.
Broaden the collarbones further opening the chest. Keep your big toes and inner arches of both feet firmly pressing on the mat and the neck lengthening away of the spine. Slowly lower down vertebra by vertebra all the way down.