Yoga is another low-impact activity that will benefit both body and mind, as you work with the physical body – strengthening your muscular system, as well as the subtle body – through breath and focussed attention. And it’s something you can do while babywearing. Going to a specific class for post-natal mamas is your best option, as you will benefit from professional guidance as well as the chance to connect with other mamas. It is also a great bonding experience for you and your baby.
Swimming is a more vigorous form of exercise and will require someone else taking care of your baby while you get in the pool. It’s also something you’ll want to wait to do until after you are fully healed up from childbirth. While it is low impact on your joints, it does require some amount of aerobic fitness and that is something you can build up. Swimming is fantastic during pregnancy as well – you will feel weightless in the water which can be a relief. Make sure you warm up before and warm down after getting in the pool.
It’s important to allow time for proper rest and recovery and don’t get too gung-ho with exercising – you’ll want to start slow and easy and gradually build your fitness and strength back up. Consulting with health professionals will be a great start, so you know when and where to begin. If you are feeling even more exhausted from the activity, rather than refreshed and rejuvenated, then that’s something to consider and explore. Perhaps it means doing even less, or something easier on your body. Have plenty of loving compassion for yourself as you begin to move in the world again, little babe in tow.
Hannah Schenker is a freelance writer, editor and regular contributor to The Natural Parent Magazine. She lives with a touch of magic in Golden Bay, New Zealand.