I am a huge believer in prenatal yoga – I practiced four times a week while pregnant with my son and it helped me build strength and endurance for my labor. Now, three years later, I am yet again using prenatal yoga to prepare for my second labor and delivery experience. The secret for me is using an at home DVD – that way I have no excuse to skip a workout.
Yoga is a wonderful resource for expecting and new moms, as well as babies. Working out with a new baby can seem nearly impossible, but taking time for your health and well-being will remind you how important self-care is. Plus, there are benefits for your baby too.
Photo Credit: Pixaby
Helen Garabedian, founder of Itsy Bitsy Yoga in Sudbury, MA says,
"It will help her sleep longer and help stimulate her mental and physical development. Yoga movements can mimic the soothing rocking motion your baby felt while in the womb. This stimulates the relaxation response in both of you, helping you and your baby fall asleep easier and sleep longer." Moms, if you're struggling with sleep deprivation (what 3 month old baby is sleeping anyway) yoga with baby is an excellent resource.
Another studio, Sweet Pea Yoga explains that babies may experience relief from colic, gas, and fussiness as a result of yoga. I am a very fast paced person and yoga with baby allowed me to slow down and read my son before trying to soothe him. The calmness of just taking a breath and pausing to think can really pay off.
Here are my top tips to navigate yoga with baby:
- Go in with realistic expectations. My first class, my goal was simply to get there. After we made it through the entire class I was thrilled. But things happen – babies cluster feed, need to be changed, want to leave, etc. Celebrate the small victories and remember that you can always come back another day and try again.
- Wait until your baby is 3-4 months old. You want to make sure your baby has strong neck and head control. I was that new mom that asked my son's pediatrician if he was ready to try yoga with me.
- Try to feed your baby before class, but if the timing doesn't work out, you can always step aside to feed.
- Pack extra clothes, feeding supplies and a few toys. You never know when they may come in handy.
- Be open to meeting new moms. Being a new parent is isolating and lonely and getting out of the house can do wonders for your social well-being. After my son's yoga class some moms would go grab a coffee and chat after class – that was definitely my favorite part.
Photo Credit: Pixaby