If you’re expecting or have just welcomed a bundle of joy, you’ve probably heard of yoga for new mums. Maybe you aren’t sure if it’s worth the hassle of leaving the house to join a yoga class, but there are plenty of benefits of trying a mums and bubs yoga class.
1) Bonding with Your Baby
Doing a mum and bub yoga class is an opportunity to spend quality time with your baby. While you might be with each other 24/7, your time at yoga encourages you to interact differently with your baby. When you’re at home, it’s easy to be distracted by chores. At a yoga class, the baby has your full attention and you can interact intently, improving the bond between you.
2) Reconnect With Your Body
After pregnancy and birth, it’s no wonder some mums feel like their body is no longer their own. For nine months it nurtured a new life then went through the stress of childbirth. Doing a yoga class can give you a sense of reclaiming your body. As your body changes during the postnatal period, you can begin to feel more positively about your body.
3) Meet Other Mums
Some mums can feel isolated after having a baby. Apart from a visit to the shop, there’s little reason to leave the house. Having a regular mum and bub class to attend is a good reason to hop in the car and get out. Unless you or bub is unwell, make yoga class a non negotiable item in your diary so you go every time. Even if it is hard work getting bub ready and packing the bag, you’ll be glad you made the effort.
Yoga for mums and bubs allows you to meet other women who are experiencing the highs and lows of being a mum to a young baby. Being able to chat to others about the sleepless nights, mountains of washing and feeding can provide support that you might not have available anywhere else.
Your newborn may not do much interacting with other babies in the class but within a few months when they’re more aware of their surroundings, they will be more interested in their fellow class participants. They will be able to interact and eventually play with other children their age.
4) Stress Relief
Having a newborn is a stressful time for many new mums. There is the constant worry that the baby isn’t feeding, sleeping or developing well. Mum might have paid work or be returning to the workforce soon. But while you’re at yoga class, you can put all your worries on hold and just concentrate on you and your baby. Exercise is also a great way to relieve stress. During exercise the brain releases feel good hormones called dopamine which helps with stress.
Yoga class can be a small part of your busy day where you can slow down and relax. Yoga can help your brain slow down, especially if you’ve been getting minimal sleep. Learning to calm the mind is a skill you’ll be able to use right through to your child’s teenage years!
5) Improved Sleep for Baby and You
Mum and bub yoga teaches you breathing techniques that help gain restful sleep. Many mums report that they find it difficult to fall asleep and get quality sleep even though they’re feeling exhausted and sleep deprived. The breathing techniques you learn can be used throughout your life to improve sleep and survive stressful periods. Some mums say that their bub must have picked up on the breathing techniques in class because they’re sleeping better at home too!
6) Less Pressure than Normal Yoga Class
When you’re part of a Mums and Bubs yoga class, there’s fewer expectations than if you’re attending a standard yoga class. For a start, you don’t have to worry about finding a babysitter or signing your baby into a creche because your baby can hang out with you on the mat.
Mum and bub yoga classes are far more casual. If you arrive late, it’s not such a big deal, if your baby needs to be fed or changed during class, you can go right ahead. If your baby is comfortable sleeping in their pram, you can leave them there and do the class on your own. Whatever works for you on the day.
7) Postnatal Recovery
Later pregnancy makes strenuous exercise more difficult so if you exercised vigorously before you fell pregnant, you may feel as though you’ve lost your muscle condition. Yoga can help regain the lost muscle. If you weren’t a regular exerciser before pregnancy, yoga is a perfect form of exercise to build muscle without risking a serious injury.
Many vigorous forms of exercise aren’t suitable soon after giving birth, particularly if you had a cesarean. Postnatal yoga concentrates on the abdominal muscles which have separated during pregnancy to accommodate your growing bump. Some new mums have weakened pelvic floor muscles but yoga can help regain pelvic floor strength. Yoga can also help strengthen back muscles which have supported the pregnant belly.
8) Increase Weight Loss
Most women gain at least a few kilos during pregnancy that aren’t lost when the baby is born. Many new mothers are keen to lose the baby weight but find it difficult. Yoga is a safe way to help lose weight particularly when a calorie-controlled diet isn’t recommended straight after birth and while nursing.
Starting yoga soon after a baby's birth is a good way to lose the first kilo or two. Those first few kilos are the incentive some mums need to keep going and introduce other forms of exercise into their daily routine.
If you think a mum and bub’s yoga class sounds like a good way to ease back into exercise, learn some handy relaxation techniques and meet other mums, look for a class in your local area. If you can’t find anything online, ask your child health nurse, call your local council or recreation centre.