- If you are feeling tight and stiff, forward and side bends can be great. Forward bends really open up the hamstrings and side bends are great for the lower back.
-If you are breastfeeding, try interlacing your hands behind your back to open your chest and then do a standing forward bend. Breastfeeding causes rounding of the upper chest, and this stretch will help prevent your posture from collapsing.
- Try some chest openers using your arms by interlacing your fingers behind your back or grabbing hands toward the opposite elbow.
-A yoga pose that Karen has personally loved post-childbirth is Downward Dog. The pose stretches the whole body and brings oxygen to the entire system, which is just what a sleep-deprived new mom needs! Stay in Downward Dog for a few breaths and then rest in Child’s Pose for a few minutes. Or insert some mommy and me yoga into playtime by having your little one underneath your face as you do this pose.
-If you are feeling cooped up in the house, the best cure for cabin fever is to get outside and start walking. Bundle up your little guy or girl and go into the park, especially now before it gets too cold. Make this part of your daily routine, so you and the baby will get some fresh air and a healthy dose of exercise. Start slowly and as you build more stamina you can increase the time and distance.
-As your walk try to engage your core a little and keep your shoulders back and heart open.
-Breastfeeding burns about 500 calories a day and really helps melt the pounds away. Although you might feel like the “eat what I want” party is over, now is not the time to diet and restrict yourself. You need to eat to keep your milk supply strong.
-Eat healthy and nutritious foods, such as oatmeal (also said to help with milk supply), brown rice, quinoa, protein, hearty soups, fish, dairy, and fruits and veggies. Also try drinking Mother’s Milk Tea.
-Maybe the most important of the bunch is to take some time for yourself so that you can relax. As you see the dishes or dirty laundry piling up, it’s easy for any new mom to feel overwhelmed. See if your spouse, family member or friend can help out for an hour or two then take that time to do something solely for yourself--take that shower, get a manicure, or get a massage, whatever it is that will help you relax and de-stress. Your body and mind will thank you!
The most important thing to do during this time is listen to your body. When your body is ready to start hardcore training again it will let you know. For now, bask in the special time you have with your newborn. Instead of thinking about squeezing into your skinny jeans, focus on your precious child. There will time for all that other stuff later!
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Congrats on your new bundle of joy – now what?
You've just been through so much over the past nine months, both physically and emotionally, and your body is beginning the process of healing and adjusting. Yoga instructor and FitBump expert Karen Kassover, knows exactly what it feels like to be a new mom and what the struggle is like to get back into a fitness routine. She just gave birth to twin boys a few weeks ago! Though Karen was in the yoga studio up until the moment she gave birth, even she hasn't jumped right back into her intense yoga practice just yet. Sure, you may not be ready to train for a marathon, but there are still plenty of things new moms can do soon after birth to lay the groundwork for getting back into shape post-baby. Here are some tips from Karen for how to ease back into fitness one step at a time.