Back to the mat after delivery

It may be common to develop diastasis recti with pregnancy where the layers of the muscles that cover the abdomen separate creating a space in the abdominal wall weakening its function in supporting the back. If left untreated, it can cause abdominal, pelvic and lumbar pain. Letting the body rest immediately after childbirth so that the internal organs recover correctly helps in this regard. Avoiding starting with the practice too soon also gives the muscles time to rejoin.

Back to practice

It is recommended to return to yoga practice after 3 months of vaginal delivery and 6 months after a cesarean section. Above all, this should be a personal decision based on the intuition and needs of the body and mind of each woman and the needs of each family in particular. With regard to pregnancy, childbirth and maternity, there is no right or wrong way of doing things, but the unique way of each. I went back to practice after one month because I really needed some space of my own and I really needed my body to move. The progression was quite slow.

Give the body time to recover without the pressure of having to “go back to what it used to”. If one is very tired (like the majority of mothers) it is more possible to get injured. The most important thing is to allow the body to heal itself internally before  going back to practice; since the body took 9 months to change and now not only the bones changed place and shape but the organs and muscles as well. Everything has to find its place again, softly. Patience and compassion for ourselves are great teachings in this period, something we can apply with our children and family. Too much activity too soon may not cause an immediate problem but can later lead to pain, protruding uterus and loose organs. The reason why several women experience postpartum low back pain is because the muscles supporting the uterus and pelvic floor are still weak. Like in pregnancy, the ligaments and joints are softer because of the prolactin effect of lactation, so the body will not return to normal until a few months after stoping with it.

It is advisable to try to integrate the practice naturally into daily life and focus on being able to reconnect with a regular discipline, something that gives us structure and anchors us. An intimate space of encounter with the new body and mind of motherhood.

  • Be flexible and creative with how much, how, when and where we practice.
  • Begin with the surya namaskara allowing time for the body to absorb the new movements. Keep in mind that it is easier to make room in the day for a short practice than a long one. Build that space little by little.
  • Add postures slowly once we can do the previous one.
  • If you previously practiced beyond Primary Series, do not advance until you can not come back up from dropbacks on your own.
  • Enjoy your practice
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