It seems there has never been a time with so much attention drawn to the Post-baby body. Celebrities and royals are having babies and the whole world is watching, and talking. And the dialogue is shaping up to encompass the complexity of this topic. There is a balance to be struck here where we consider the gestalt of new motherhood, rather than looking at women as just a body.
A new mother has just transitioned from pregnant woman to mother. This transformation is mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical. Her hormones make a huge shift in the moments after birth and her body rapidly begins a post-birth process. There is bleeding, discomfort, healing, sleep deprivation, and a new baby…all before you leave the hospital! And every new mom wonders if her body will ever be the same. All the while, she takes an emotional and mental roller coaster as she and baby go through the ‘4th trimester’.
Things are always changing, nothing is ever stuck in a moment for long. Your newborn on day one looks a lot different to your newborn at month one. The same goes for the post-baby body and mind. The uterus has to shrink back to its normal size, the pelvis has to recover from birth, stitches need to heel, fluid sweat or peed out, and so on…not too mention your hormones need to regulate.
There need not be a rush to get back in shape or even to feel ‘normal’ right away. Rather, motherhood is a new experience that ultimately will change the way we think and feel. In the first days and weeks the body needs rest and maybe some light walking. Easing back in and taking a slow and progressive approach toward rebuilding strength is the way to go.
At about 6 to 8 weeks postpartum the body is truly ready to start a regular yoga practice. The core strength that was once there won’t be and so the whole practice feels new. If you compare yourself to your pre-baby self or even your pregnant self, you are apt to feel frustrated and overwhelmed. Instead, relish in feeling your body move again in ways it couldn’t during pregnancy. You can enjoy lying on your stomach, lying on your back, doing twists, and deeper backbends. And the good news is your body will morph once again! And that feeling of building strength is very empowering and motivating.
At 6 weeks post I felt like a truck had hit me. But by month 3 I nearly felt like my old self. Each month that goes by I feel more and more ‘in’ my body. Ultimately, yoga keeps me feeling good and feeling good is the open window back toward post-baby normalcy and health. Yoga tightens the body and pulls things back in to the mid-line. That squishy, floaty, wobbly new mommy feeling goes away. Who knows, maybe some day soon I will be stronger than I was before I got pregnant. The saying goes, ‘9 months to put it on, 9 months to take it off.’
I utilized my post-baby journey to create a series of yoga classes starting at 6 weeks postpartum. I filmed one class each consecutive week until I had a total of 6 classes. I teamed with nutrition expert, Lisa K. Beach to make our course, ‘Enviable Post-Baby Body and Mind’. In these classes you will gain the tools to use yoga and food to get your ‘feel good’ feeling back, gain energy, slim down, and tone the body. You can find it here: