Congratulations on welcoming your little one(s) into the world! You did it! With your little one(s) along for the ride - or not - it’s time to nurture yourself with postnatal yoga classes!
No yoga experience is necessary. In fact, many women attend their first yoga class during pregnancy or postpartum. Those with a regular practice will find these Postnatal Yoga classes as a smooth transition to getting back to their pre-pregnancy practice.
BONUS: You Get a "Momma Out" Week
When you register for any Postnatal Yoga session you will be paying for one less week, as a "momma out" gift. Motherhood is demanding. For whatever reason you'd like, take a week off from the session. Whether you or baby aren't feeling well, or getting out the door wasn't happening - no worries - you didn't pay for one class!
How Long is Postpartum?
From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, defining postpartum:
1. "occurring in or being the period following childbirth"
2. "being in or used in the postpartum period"
Pretty vague, right? Typically, when doctors talk about postpartum they're referring to the first six weeks after having a baby. For any woman who has birthed - we know this period is longer. A lot longer. Like, forever... seriously it's forever.
Prepare for Postnatal Yoga
Arrive 10-15 minutes early to set up and use the restroom.
Studios typically have bolsters, blankets, cork blocks, straps and mats. (However, for hygienic purposes we encourage you to bring your own mat.)
Wear comfortable, breathable clothing. Layers work well in the cooler months. The room is set at about 70-75 degrees.
Do not wear any scents (i.e. lotions, perfumes or colognes.)
Typically yoga is practiced on an empty belly (refraining from meals 2-3 hours before practice.) If possible, notice if you can avoid eating before class.
- Being a mom is a never-ending job. Prioritizing your food and water intake is laughable. If you need to eat before coming to class - eat! Just like in Prenatal Yoga: perhaps avoid that chili cheese dog until after class, but enjoy a small sandwich, veggies, fruit or crackers to tide you over.
Most importantly: please do not leave early. Allowing time for savasana seals the work you have done... even if you're walking around the room with baby. Becoming aware of your body, mind and breath is my goal to assist you through this phase in your life. Embrace the moment of no expectations... and maybe some stillness with a wiggly baby.
'Me Time' Momma Yoga Info
For the benefit of everyone participating: if you've given birth - you're welcome to attend! Whether you had your child six weeks or 40 years ago you will benefit from this practice.
Since this class is at night the focus will be on alleviating physical and mental stress. Plus, before or after class Elise will offer diastasis recti checks! Students will learn what the "core" is and how to properly engage those muscles for optimal healing and strength in everyday activities.
Momma + Baby Yoga FAQ's
When to Start and Stop Attending
Typically moms are ready between 6-12 weeks after delivery. (General rule of thumb: vaginal birth will take about 4-6 weeks; c-section will take about 6-12 weeks to recover enough to attend.) Every woman heals differently. Once you and baby feel ready or you have received the okay from your healthcare provider, then come on in!
This class is designed with mom as the focal point. Once baby begins to crawl he/she becomes more of a distraction for mom. This often occurs between 8-10 months of age. Mom will notice how she’s chasing baby most of the time; rather than participating. This is the cue that baby is ready to graduate into a new class.
What to Bring to Class
- Wear comfortable clothing to allow yourself to bend forward and stretch sideways without the need to constantly adjust clothing.
- Nursing bra or sports top to make breastfeeding quick and convenient.
- A yoga mat, however there are extras to borrow.
- Water bottle, if desired.
- At least one extra blanket for baby to lay or sit on during class.
- Favorite toy(s) and/or soother(s.)
- Bring into studio:
- baby carrier, if using one
- diaper bag: bottles, spit up blankets, an extra outfit, diapers, wipes and plastic bags for soiled disposable diapers.
What to do with Baby During Class
Baby does not have to participate in any or all of the class. Simply *or not so simply* getting out of the house is a feat within itself! There are no expectations here. Mom has full freedom to involve baby or allow baby some rest/alone time. Baby remains in gazing distance and arms-length away the whole time.
Babies wiggle, cry, and make noises. That's how they communicate - it's all good! Sometimes babies want to be fed or held for part of the time; other times babies are excited to watch and listen to fellow baby yogis/yoginis. Do whatever you need to do to keep baby and you happy. (i.e. change diaper, breast or bottle feed, walk around the room, pause/breath, offer a toy, hum/sign/talk to soothe baby, etc.)
A Note About Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is welcomed! Mom and Baby Yoga is the perfect place to explore breastfeeding in public. With the increasing hype in the media, especially social media, moms will find great comfort transitioning from home to public through this class.
For those who bottle feed: you are still nursing your baby. Having breast and bottle fed both my children, there is an extra effort it takes on mom’s end to not “check out” during bottle feedings. Breastfeeding moms can do it, too, once they get into the swing of it.
When you are feeding your baby, I encourage you to fully participate with your baby – most of the time. Sometimes you just need to get something else done, I hear that! Other times, gaze at baby, feel your breath and baby’s breath, look, explore baby. You are nurturing baby through touch, breath, sound, eyes and food. Enjoy the feedings, this baby has chosen you!
Get the stroller ready or baby-wear your little one and enjoy a lunch with the other moms at any of the great local restaurants in the area! It's a fun time to sit back, see what other mothers are doing (or not doing) and begin to get comfortable taking baby out of your home.
Personally, my favorite part of going to postnatal yoga classes was to go out to eat with other moms after! That's what got me to class half the time!