5 Stress-Relieving Yoga Poses You Can Do with Your Newborn

Keya Williams
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Congratulations! You’ve made it through pregnancy, labor and now your little one is home with you. Life can get back to normal – right? Well maybe not the normal you had in mind . . .
 
If you’re like me, you had grand plans of the wonderful schedule my infant would abide by and how easy it would be to get my work done, take care of the baby and take good care of myself.
 

About 80% of new mothers experience some sort of mood disturbance, ranging from the baby blues to postpartum depression.

 
But instead, we quickly realize our life will never be the same, and the new stresses and demands of having a newborn baby can quickly take their toll. Many new moms will face sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, uncertainty and doubt about raising a newborn.
So how can we make this transition easier?
 
Finding time to take care of ourselves with a newborn is almost impossible, but so important. If we don’t put serious effort into self-care, not only can we easily fall apart, but it can also negatively impact the entire family.
Thankfully, yoga offers new moms simple and practical ways to take care of ourselves so we can also care for our family.
 
So can new moms actually do yoga with their little bitty baby? Yes! Inviting your new baby into your practice is a wonderful opportunity for both of you.
 

Here are 5 common new mom stresses, along with yoga poses you can practice with your newborn to relieve your stress and stay healthy:

 
 

New mom stress #1: Lose the baby weight

Pregnancy changes your body entirely and gaining weight during pregnancy is essential to your baby’s health. But once baby arrives, many of us are ready to get back to our pre-pregnancy body and get back to being active. Becoming more active and beginning to gently tone and strengthen the body will help you physically and mentally.
 

Yoga pose: Bitty Baby Vinyasa

Traditional Ashtanga-based Vinyasa is a great way to work up a sweat, burn some post-baby calories and entertain your infant at the same time. Keep in mind your body just went through a major change and you may want to modify your practice while you recover. Also, make sure you are cleared with your doctor for any physical activity, especially if you had a c-section.
 
Bitty-Baby-Vinyasa
 
Let’s practice:

  1. Lay your little one at the top of your yoga mat similar to Savasana
  2. Come into High Plank above your baby so you are face to face
  3. On an exhale, bend your elbows and hug your arms into your ribcage for Chaturanga
  4. Inhale and shift forward to Upward Facing Dog and on your exhale, move to Downward Facing Dog
  5. You’ve now completed one round of Bitty Baby Vinyasa
  6. Practice 3 to 5 more times to thoroughly warm your body and jumpstart your metabolism

 
 

New mom stress #2: Baby continues to cry

Your baby continues to cry and you are desperate to find a way to console him/her. The constant crying of a newborn can quickly up your stress levels and bring you to a breaking point. Often times your little one wants to be close to mommy’s heartbeat and rhythmically moving will help comfort you both.
 

Yoga pose: New Mama Goddess Movement

This gentle movement incorporating Goddess Pose is a great way to strengthen the legs and the core, and also stabilizes the pelvis, which often gets thrown out of whack during pregnancy.
 
Goddess-pose-with-newborn
 
Let’s practice:

  1. Hold your baby close to your chest or snuggle him/her in a wrap or carrier
  2. Stand facing the long edge of your mat with feet wider than hip distance, turning the toes out and the heels in
  3. Bring your awareness to your pelvis and make sure that your tailbone is directed downward and your core is engaged
  4. Practice engaging your mula bandha to strengthen and tone the pelvic floor muscles if this is part of your practice
  5. On your inhale, lengthen the spine and on your exhale, bend the knees and drop your hips to find Goddess Pose
  6. Press your knees towards the outer blades of your feet, and keep your tailbone down and your abs engaged
  7. On your next inhale straighten the legs, and on an exhale bend the knees and come back into Goddess Pose
  8. Complete 5 to 10 rounds

 

 

New mom stress #3: Not losing your identity

You are now a new mom, and for a while this may be your only identity. What about who you were before you became a mom? Is she gone forever? Struggling with knowing your true self outside of motherhood can be a difficult journey for many new moms and something that shouldn’t be pushed aside.
 

Yoga pose: Mommy and Me Boat

Incorporating Navasana or Boat Pose into your daily practice will not only help you tone and strengthen your core, but your third chakra (http://www.yogiapproved.com/om/the-third-eye-chakra-how-it-connects-us-to-our-intuition/) as well. Your third chakra is the core of your personality and identity, so any extra attention to this chakra will help you remain connected to yourself.
 
*Be sure to consult with your doctor before adding core work into your yoga practice.
 
core-work-new-born
 
Let’s practice:

  1. Begin seated on your mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor
  2. Gently snuggle your baby onto your chest or your carrier
  3. Inhale, lift your chest and lengthen your spine while bringing your awareness to your core
  4. Hold here or slowly lower the shoulders toward the ground
  5. Keep the spine straight as you feel the low abs turn on
  6. Hold this posture for 5 deep breaths
  7. If you’re feeling strong in the core, lift the shins parallel to the mat and hold Half Boat Pose
  8. If you’re feeling even stronger, straighten the legs completely. Remember – if you’re not feeling ready for this, then back off and keep your practice safe

 
 

New mom stress #4: Will I bond with my baby?

Some new moms may worry about bonding with their new baby and if the attachment will happen immediately. If you had a difficult delivery and/or are feeling overwhelmed with the new mom stresses, it isn’t uncommon to not feel a strong bond immediately. But bonding is an individual experience and could happen immediately or over a period of time.
 

Yoga pose: Seated Baby Fold

A great way to bond with your newborn is face time and eye contact with mommy. A Seated Forward Fold is a great pose to not only bond with your baby, but stretch your hamstrings and back as well as calm your nerves.
 
newborn-fold
 
Let’s practice:

  1. Begin seated with your legs extended on your yoga mat – it’s okay to have a slight bend in the knees, but try to keep the feet flexed
  2. Place your baby on your legs and facing you
  3. Inhale as you sit up tall, then exhale and fold at your hips to bring your face closer to your baby’s face
  4. Hold this posture for a few breaths
  5. Feel free to sing, talk and give lots of kisses

 
 

New mom stress #5: Do I have maternal instincts?

Many women worry they may not have the maternal instincts needed to know what their baby needs and how to care for him/her. Often times we can be overwhelmed and distracted as a new mom so it can be difficult to be in touch with our inner voice.

Yoga pose: Lotus with Baby Chant

Chanting is a wonderful way to reduce anxiety, boost intuition and quiet the mind to be more in tune with yourself. You can choose a mantra to repeat or your favorite chant that will benefit you and your baby that day.
 
Babies love to hear sounds because it mimics their own and can also help with development. And as a new mom, singing to your little one can help calm him/her and you at the same time.
 
newborn-chant
 
Let’s practice:

  1. Take a comfortable seat in Lotus Pose or cross legged on the floor or in a chair
  2. With your newborn in your lap, begin to sing or chant
  3. Take a deep inhale and slowly release the exhale with your mantra or chant. This will help calm you and your baby’s nervous system

 
 
Having a new baby is super exciting but can also be a lot to take in. Making self-care a priority will help you more easily transition into motherhood and keep you happy and healthy. Try to allow yourself time to practice at least one of these yoga poses a day and you will be giving yourself and your baby the gift of being a more calm, peaceful and present yoga mama.
 
Are you feeling the stresses of being a new mom? Are you looking for ways to find time for self-care that can also include your newborn? Are you a mom and have advice of your own to share? Please do in the comments below and keep the conversation going.
 

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Keya Williams

Keya Williams is a wife, a busy mom of 3 and a Yoga Lifestyle Consultant. She teaches moms on the go how to use yoga as a tool to juggle life and kids without burning out. Could you use a little more peace, energy and focus in your mom life? Check out Keya’s free video and learn 3 yoga-based steps to help you do motherhood with more ease and joy!

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