When can you start practicing yoga after having a baby?

 

I often get asked how long you need to wait to start practicing yoga after having a baby.

 

While many people will tell you not to start anything until after the 6 week check up I don’t think that’s the whole picture.

 

First of all,  the 6 week check up is often just a cursory check to see that any birth injuries have healed, maybe a pap smear and off you go.

 

At these check ups you’re often given the ‘all clear’ to resume all normal activies… i.e sex, exercise and being an all-round superwoman.

 

BUTTTT.. and it’s a big BUT.  This really doesn’t take into consideration the whole range of issues that being pregnant for 9 months and birthing a baby (however that happens for you) actually creates.

 

Jumping straight back into high intensity anything (even yoga) is not a great idea first up after having a baby.

 

That being said, and I know I bang on about this a lot here so bear with me if you’ve heard me say this a bazillion times...

 

Yoga is so much more than just vinyasa flow on a yoga mat.

 

If however, that’s what you’re busting to get back into, I’d suggest starting after 6 weeks and getting checked by a women’s health physio who specialises in core and pelvic floor first.  (They’ll most likely give you some more gentle exercises to start with to build your strength back up first before you dive into a power flow yoga class or something equally as physical.)

 

If you just want to get back into some gentle yoga, my answer is you can start as soon as you’re ready after birth.  Four days after Luca’s birth I was already doing some gentle yoga from the couch.  It was mostly just stretching out my neck and shoulders (because boy was not sleeping and I was pretty much holding him 24/7) and some breath work because I was feeling quite high and angsty after his birth.

 

To be honest, my yoga practice is probably going to look a whole lot like this for a fair bit longer as well, even after I pass that 6 week ‘ready to go’ mark.

 

Why?

 

Because jumping back into strong yoga (or any other type of exercise) too soon after having a baby often leaves you feeling worse, not better.

 

Doing intense exercise after having a baby without taking the time to build up to it slowly can put you at risk of prolapse (if you don’t know what this is – google it – it’s not pleasant), back injuries from lack of core strength and just generally feeling depleted rather than energised by exercise.

 

So to sum up… when should you return to yoga after having a baby?

 

If it’s in the true spirit of yoga (listening to your body and looking after all aspects of yourself – mental, physical, spiritual and emotional) than my answer is – whenever you feel up to it – but start slow, build up your strength and listen to your body. 

 

Today I want to share a super early postnatal (and super gentle) yoga practice that you can start even just days after having a baby – and you don’t even have to leave the couch.  That’s what I call ‘winning at life’.

 

If you’re coming to this practice days in the early days after having your baby – CONGRATULATIONS! If you’d like more yoga that you can practice after having a baby, or even with your baby (babywearing yoga) then checkout my Online Yoga Circle – my online yoga community for Mums of all stages.

 

 

When did you return to yoga (or exercise) after having your baby?

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