So you're on bed rest. That's the pits, especially at a time when you'd love to be out preparing for baby or moving your body. If you're my yoga student, we're going to miss seeing you in class (but it's ok, because we'll see you at Mom & Me soon enough)!
You can still practice SOME* yoga, although perhaps not a physical practice and not with us in class. It might sound a bit hokey (but that's ok, because I'm a yoga teacher and I'm allowed to sound a bit out there), but you can spend some time sending out good vibes to baby. Let them know they are in a very safe place with lots of people looking out for you two, and ask baby to stay in for a little while longer. You can focus on your breathing... sometimes when things get crazy and you can hear your heartbeat in your ears it is good to think:
Inhale: "Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in."
Exhale: "Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out."
Do this over and over again. If someone forwards you an email about something scary, delete it and then do this breath.
Try Ovarian Breath:
Imagine there is a long, golden cord wrapped around your hips and pulling into the center of the earth. That is holding you steady, just like baby's umbilical cord is holding them steady.
Now imagine that little flecks of light are rising up your spine as you inhale. Once start to exhale, allow that light to pour over your face, your heart, and back into your baby. Continue breathing in this way, never holding or restricting the breath.
There is a bit of science behind this... baby's endocrine system picks up on hormones from your endocrine system (and vice versa) so working towards the calmest state possible can have real results.
Actual physical movements*
- Ankle circles (each direction)
- Ankle extensions (push heel, ball, toe, curl your toes like you're grabbing something, and then pull the foot back to starting position)
- Wrist circles (interlace all fingers and make figure eight shapes with your wrists) go both directions
- Slow baby ab hugs. Slowly tighten your belly muscles inwards to hug your baby, then slowly release. Take several seconds for each.
- Arm stretches (using a belt, like a bathrobe belt, hold your arms overhead like the Y in YMCA with the belt between them. Move the belt forwards in front of you, then back behind you. It will kind of look like jumping rope).
- Keep the belt and do tricep stretches. Same grip, but now one hand is overhead and the other is by your low back. Your thumbs will face one another along the belt. Switch sides.
- Butterfly pose (sitting with soles of the feet together and knees open)
- Roll a tennis ball over any tense muscles you can reach, or put it into a sock and use that as a handle. Consider the hands, feet, calves, upper back, and really anywhere you can reach. You might be surprised to learn what is sore.
- Hands and knees, gentle "cat/cow" postures or just stay on hands and knees a bit
- side-lying leg lifts or stretches
*please, for the love of Pete, double check any and all physical activity with your provider. Bed rest can mean a number of things and can be prescribed for many reasons. Make sure you are doing what is best for YOU and YOUR babe. Take this list to your provider and verify that each and every action is ok before you try to perform it. Your provider may have additional exercises, too.
If your friends want to bring you things, say YES and TELL THEM what to bring you.
Kari Kwinn, ERYT500, RPYT, Doula, Midwife's Assistant is one of Enso's co-owners.
I had just married my husband and moved to the Springs when I discovered I was pregnant with my first daughter. After the exhaustion of the first trimester passed, I searched for a prenatal yoga class -- I had loved yoga and pilates back in DC, so it seemed like a good option for getting stronger and acclimating to the weird new shapes and feelings of my body. What I hadn't counted on, though, was that it allowed me to find my village. It turns out that *that* was what I really needed -- a community of mamas and mamas-to-be and mama-helpers, who would listen, and share, and be there for me.
Some of my closest friends today were made in those very first classes, sitting in a circle, working on weird low back pain, chatting about getting kicked in the bladder at 2 a.m., and learning that we could all get through the miraculous craziness of pregnancy and childbirth, however we chose to do it. It was my absolute favorite part! of being pregnant, and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything.
- Leigh Kaplan, mama of two
We’ve all heard that it takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to raise a new mama. This motherhood thing isn’t exactly the most intuitive or easiest thing in the world, believe it or not. It took me until my third trimester to even step foot into a prenatal yoga class. I wasn’t sure I needed a prenatal yoga class; I had a regular home practice and that was good enough for me. I wasn’t sure how much benefit an actual yoga class, held outside my living room, would be. I also had some reservations stepping into an environment with so many pregnant women after spending many years trying to get pregnant; I wasn’t sure I would be able to relate to my fertile counterparts. I thank my lucky stars I took the leap and stepped into Kari’s prenatal yoga class when I moved to Colorado Springs.
The women I met in prenatal yoga are some of my closest new mama friends now almost a year later. We graduated from prenatal yoga to postpartum yoga and our numbers doubled (in the form of our new babies). I’ve also been able to meet women I didn’t overlap with in prenatal yoga when they graduated into our Mom and Me Yoga class. We’ve been able to talk about everything. And I mean everything from BLW to breastfeeding to sex after birth to sore nipples to everything in between. These are the women who are supportive no matter what topic comes up. When I had trouble breastfeeding my son and used a finger feeder/supplemental nursing system Mom and Me Yoga was the first place in public I used the finger feeder when my son was 6 weeks old. It was my safe place. Now when my son isn’t sleeping (very often), and I’m about ready to rip my hair out and cry at the same time those ladies have my back. Some times all you need to hear is ‘keep on doing it, mama, you’re rocking motherhood.’
Internet support groups and forums are nice, and I believe they have a place in this world. But a hand on your shoulder and a friend with tears in her eyes who really gets it, who empathizes with you so perfectly is a thing of beauty. For me yoga was the place where I connected on so many levels with my wonderfully supportive, open minded, beautiful Mama Tribe. I don’t care how you build your mama tribe, where you find your mama friends, but it is important to go out there and find those women. They need you as much as you need them, even if you don’t know it now.
And to my Mama Tribe: Thank you so much for holding me up, giving me a shoulder to cry on, and a good laugh on this awesome, crazy journey called motherhood. You have no idea how deeply and profoundly you have affected my son and me.
Michelle is mama to a sweet nearly one-year-old boy. She also teaches Baby Led Weaning at Enso.
This blog is not intended to be a source of medical information or advice. Please discuss all of your concerns with your care provider.