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.
Bea Wilds, RYT, CLD is a doula and Enso co-owner. Learn more about her or look into hiring her practice as your birth support team.
I realize that it was weeks ago now, but did everyone have a lovely Mother’s Day? I sure did. It was nothing specially, really. I even made my own pancakes for breakfast and we ate leftovers for dinner. Our big outings were to Target and Whole Foods, but what made the day so special were all of the messages from friends and family, wishing me a happy first Mother’s Day, and of course getting to spend it with my wonderful husband and sweet baby boy. The chocolate covered strawberries didn’t hurt, either...
But those messages! I guess I never really realized how special a holiday like Mother’s Day was. Of course I love my own mother and would try to treat her extra special on this day, but now that I am a mother myself, the holiday meant so much more. I was overwhelmed by how much love and support came from other mother’s, whether they were close friends or those whose lives I only kept up with through the token Facebook status update. If they were a woman who loved a child, whether that child was still a new bundle of joy or all grown up and having babies of their own, or whether they carried and birthed that child or it came into their life by another way - I felt a connection to them, and they felt that same connection to me. This holiday apparently isn’t just for children and husbands to show appreciation for the mother’s in their lives. This holiday is for women to show love and respect for other women who share the experience of motherhood.
I guess you could say that every day is Mother’s Day at Enso Prenatal, then. That same love and support I felt from all over the internet last Sunday is what I feel each and every time I roll out my mat or attend a workshop in that studio space in Old Colorado City. It’s a pretty special place, which is why I love getting to teach yoga there and give back to what gave so much to me as I entered into this motherhood adventure.
Mama Yoga is a class that is very special to me, which is why I would love for you to join me on Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm and alternating Sunday afternoons at 2:30pm. This class is for mothers of all kinds, with children of all ages (although this one’s just for the mom’s, so leave the kiddos at home and practice in peace!). We combine the need for a physical practice (mothering is tough on the body!) with the need for physical connection (message boards don’t come close). The class can offer a little more of a challenge, and often will include some sort of breathing exercise or meditation, and then closes out with some restorative poses and a nice, long, uninterrupted savasana. When I took my first solo yoga class after having my son, it was so strange not to pause for multiple nursing or diaper changing breaks. I kind of missed the little rascal trying to nibble my toes, but being able to do more yoga and less baby-wrangling was a nice change! We still have our weekly Mom & Me Yoga dates, but having a date with myself (and other solo-mamas) is just as important for my body, mind, and soul. Plus, the promise of fifteen minutes of solid relaxation is reason enough to make it to class! I hope that you can join me sometime!
Mindy teaches Mama Yoga on Sundays and Wednesdays and Mom & Me on Mondays at 10:30.
This blog is not intended to be a source of medical information or advice. Please discuss all of your concerns with your care provider.