Why is what we offer mothers in our postnatal yoga classes so important?

Having a baby is life changing – it is different to any other experience a person has. It is hard which is why it is life changing for both parents.  It gives you a new perspective of life and relationships and new ways of understanding yourself – having a baby teaches you a new way to be. But how women react and respond to this huge change in their lives can give rise to problems and it can also bring great joy and a more creative approach to life.

Mother baby bonding

Find your village in your postnatal yoga class

Running a postnatal class gives you an opportunity to see how the mother is responding to her baby and any issues she may be having, most commonly around feeding her baby. We are offering the women a support network – the village green. This can be where relationships between the women can develop and seeing other mums with their babies make women realise that what they are experiencing is normal.

These classes are for mothers and babies so there are certain practical as well as health and safety issues to consider.  The mother should feel that the baby is well accommodated for and that the class is ‘baby led’.  Easy access is essential as is a safe and clean environment for a new baby. We are creating a safe environment for women to come together as a group – where they will make life-long friendships.

postnatal comminity
postnatal yoga class

A baby led approach

As teachers, we will explain at the beginning of the class that it is ‘baby led’. Sometimes they will achieve everything – sometimes all they will do is feed their baby. But that is okay. It can be really helpful when you have someone coming back who’s done it all before as they reassure everyone that the class can be chaotic.

Postnatal yoga

The yoga element of the postnatal class in part is the bringing together of the women and breathing. Just being there is so important. If they actually manage to do some yoga, that is even better! Much of the work is about giving something back to the mother. It may be the first time she has done something for herself since having her baby. Observing how her body feels post birth. Noticing where the areas of tension are. Noticing the changes in her body post birth, her posture, her core strength and beginning to engage the pelvic floor for essential recovery. Also finding time to relax in the class – a moment of time out.

It is a challenging class to teach but incredibly satisfying as you truly are supporting the women at this transitional time in their lives. I incorporate baby massage in my classes which I think works very effectively. It is a good opportunity to get the mothers to bond with the baby and the feedback I get is that it is wonderful to do a class that is for the ‘mother and the baby’.

‘Reminder to focus on baby and on me. A nice balance of the two. A class that’s gentle enough post baby. Seeing some of the mums from pregnancy yoga/hearing about other mums experiences/challenges/solutions is so helpful.’

‘The postnatal baby massage and yoga class has been a great way to learn how to give my baby boy a relaxing massage, which he really enjoys, and to allow me to have some time out to focus on my body and post natal recovery- it’s lovely to be able to do something together which I feel really benefits both of us. The opportunity to chat to Annabel and the other ladies is also invaluable, and definitely helped to feel less isolated especially in the early pp stage. I really look forward to the classes.’

How can I find out more?

To find out about how to become a YogaBirth postnatal yoga teacher in your area, click the button below.

Written by Annabel Hargrave
Mother, Grandmother
YogaBirth pre and postnatal Teacher
Scaravelli Yoga Teacher
Annabel Hargrave
Our Teacher Training is accredited and endorsed by The Royal College of Midwives
Images courtesy of Sarah Stirk at sarahstirkphotography.co.uk