Yoga for Post Pregnancy

Motherhood is a divine experience for every woman. Mothers experience overwhelming emotions of joy, love, responsibility, and selflessness.

Pregnancy is a new beginning of life for every woman. Women feel it as a challenging phase as she undergoes various physical, psychological, social, and financial changes in her life. Specifically, physical and psychological changes are many throughout the nine months of pregnancy. 

On delivery, in the postnatal stage, women go through a lot of hormonal and psychological changes. Gynecologists suggest complete rest for the first 6 to 8 weeks and simple physical exercises after that. 

Yoga asanas are the best way to start toning the body in the post-pregnancy stage.

Post-pregnancy, as the body is still in recovery mode from the pregnancy and labor, most women find it difficult to perform daily activities. Practicing yogasanas is very much beneficial to recover from childbirth.

What Is post-pregnancy Yoga?

Post-pregnancy yoga is a low-intensity, modified yoga asana practice. Women experience various physical and emotional changes after childbirth. Post-pregnancy yoga also called postnatal yoga, is designed to help heal and recover the body to get back to the original state of health. Yoga helps in balancing physical energy and reduces stress and anxiety.

Benefits of Yoga Post-Pregnancy

  • Postnatal recovery: Childbearing causes a lot of changes including carrying the baby’s weight. Yoga after normal delivery or C-section delivery is an excellent way of soothing the stress and strain that the body bears during the pregnancy. Yoga recovers the body by increasing physical energy, flexibility and reduces stress.
  • Weight Loss: Putting on extra pounds of weight is very common during pregnancy. Excess requirement of nutrients than usual and to bear the baby weight, women gain extra weight during pregnancy. However, post-delivery, this extra weight is not good for the health and has to be reduced to maintain a healthy body. Losing weight post-pregnancy becomes a challenge for most women. Yoga is an ancient discipline that helps in losing weight. 
  • Endurance: Many women experience weakness after pregnancy due to painful labour. Common symptoms of this weakness include muscle/joint pain, loss of stamina, and chronic exhaustion. Specifically designed for post-pregnancy yoga asanas relaxes muscles and bring back the original strength in bones and muscles and gradually boosting stamina and strength.
  • Regaining Posture: Normal body posture of women gets out of sync due to nine months of childbearing followed by post-pregnancy weakness and child-care. Childbearing in the womb for nine months gradually increases the stress on the spinal cord. Also, post-pregnancy, there will be whole body pain due to carrying a child around nurturing. Yoga heals the muscles and joints to get back to pre-pregnancy body posture.
  • Psychological Benefits: Many women experience postpartum depression due to hormonal changes after childbirth. Symptoms of postpartum depression include severe mood swings, trouble bonding with the baby, uncontrollable crying, insomnia/oversleeping, withdrawal symptoms, irritability and anger, anxiety, self-harming thoughts, hopelessness, extreme fatigue, etc. This kind of depression has to be treated with care. Yoga practices focus majorly on relaxing and stretching the muscles and body with deep breathing. Yoga asanas improve blood circulation and metabolism. It helps in reducing stress and depression and calming the body and mind.
  • Moral support: Joining post-pregnancy yoga sessions is beneficial for new mothers. It helps understand other new mothers and brings a sense of being in the same boat. It helps to make new friends and face the new challenges of a mother’s life. 
  • Breathwork boosts lung health – In many women, the respiratory system is significantly impacted by pregnancy. Yoga focuses on breathing patterns and breathing exercises that help improve lung functionality and improve blood pressure and restore breathing. Deep breathing—long, full inhales and exhales—also brings oxygen to the entire body, which energizes your system. 
    • Inhale through the nose; fill the belly, ribs, and upper chest with air so that they puff out in front of you. 
    • Exhale through the nose and tuck in your belly button as the air is being released.

This process is called deep breathing or anuloma and viloma.

Precautions Before Starting Post-Pregnancy Yoga

  • ‍‍There are some precautions to consider before resuming yoga practices post-pregnancy. Women have to consult their doctor and get the health check-up done before starting yoga.
  • Consult a professional yoga therapist and practice the yoga asanas instead of self-experimenting. 
  • Perform yogasanas which can be practiced comfortably. 
  • Once yogasanas bring flexibility and strength, abdominal yoga asanas can be started to stretch abdominal muscles.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle by avoiding bakery items, junk food, and fridge items.

A happy mother can take care of the baby properly and can keep the baby in good health. Post-pregnancy yoga builds body balance and helps mothers to nurture their babies efficiently. 

Yoga Poses to Avoid during Post-Pregnancy

Some yoga asanas have to be avoided in post-pregnancy practices. 

Which asanas are to be avoided during postnatal yoga?

Below are major asanas new mothers have to avoid after childbirth until fully healed.

  1. Cobra.
  2. Deep Twists.
  3. Malasana.
  4. Bow Pose.
  5. Hanumanasana (Splits).
  6. Inversions.

Other Postpartum Yoga FAQs

  • Can yoga be performed while breastfeeding?

Yes. mothers can practice yogasanas while breastfeeding their babies. While some asanas pose a hindrance, they can better be avoided. With supportive clothing, women can perform yogasanas and get the benefit of having a flexible body and a healthy mind.

  • Can women perform yogasanas after c-section delivery?

Yes. women with both normal as well as c-section deliveries can perform yogasanas only after consulting their doctor. Generally, after 8 weeks, mothers can start doing yogasanas slowly and steadily.

  • What materials are needed while performing yoga?

One should be equipped with a sticky yoga mat, comfortable sportswear, blanket for some postures, straps while doing stretching. Yoga trainers at Naitri will guide you with all the required accessories to perform yogasanas comfortably.

  • What are commonly performed yogasanas?

Yoga trainers suggest doing yogasanas like Marjariasana or the cat pose, Viparita Karni or legs-up-the-wall pose, Trikonasana or triangle pose, Gomukhasana or cow pose, Kumbhakasana or the plank pose. Consult our doctors, they will help you practice yoga for your benefit. 

At Naitri, we have a team of highly qualified BAMS doctors, nutritionists, and yoga trainers. We will provide a complete package to heal yourself after painful deliveries or C-sections. 

Contact us with your query, we will be happy to help you.