Health & wellbeing

What you need to know about postnatal yoga

Have you had your postnatal check-up?

The WW programme is not suitable while you're pregnant, however you are able to sign up after your postnatal check-up.

Gentle exercise should be fine after your postnatal check (longer if you had a caesarean) but we recommend checking with your GP or health visitor before starting to exercise.

It may be best to avoid sit-ups or crunches to begin with. Postnatal fitness consultant Jane Wake says: "During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles can become weak. This means some exercises are unsuitable for new mums." 

Practising postnatal yoga

After giving birth, the upper body may benefit from 'opening' and release to counter all the rounding over baby, holding and feeding.

However, the lower body needs to 'close'. The pelvic ligaments should be supported after being stretched during pregnancy and birth. 

Many yoga poses open the hips and stretch the pelvic tissues, which can be detrimental if you've recently given birth.

Postnatal yoga focuses on movements that can be done on your back, seated, on all-fours, standing and walking - all with baby, if awake, or independently if baby is sleeping close by. 

Postnatal yoga can also help strengthen the bond between mum and baby, and may be beneficial for baby's social development.

Read the full article 'Exploring Pre and Postnatal Yoga and Baby Yoga with Sandi Sharkey' on the Yogamatters blog.