The time after giving birth is for rest, rejuvenation and recovery. In many cultures the extended family (or even the whole village) chip in to help by cooking meals, looking after children, assisting with housework and providing healing foods and other therapies. However, in reality there is often little rest after the first couple of weeks with new mums getting straight back into shopping, cooking and looking after other children. It’s important to set aside some time during the day to slow down and heal.
I recently read that in France all women get pelvic floor and abdominal physical therapy sessions covered through the national health system whereas in Australia (and UK and US) the most you can expect is a leaflet from the hospital or maternal and child health centre telling you to do pelvic floor exercises or ‘kegels’ to prevent incontinence. So why are they important?
What all of the birthing books I read, while preparing for my second birth, seemed to have in common is a strong belief that women have the ability to birth babies with minimal intervention and with the right knowledge, techniques and practice the birth experience can be completely beautiful and empowering.
On 27 August 2014 at 11.15pm, Sebastian Joe Callander came into the world – expertly delivered by one of the infamous “Sandy Midwives” at Sandringham Hospital in Melbourne. Although I was expecting a shorter labour than with Nina I hadn’t quite expected it to be as quick or as smooth as it was. I definitely attribute much of that to a strong yoga practice throughout pregnancy (including relaxation, pranayama and mindfulness meditation – not just asana).
I am passionate about the benefits of yoga during pregnancy and feel that having that yoga practice helped me to stay fit and strong during pregnancy (to carry my growing belly) and helped with some of those pregnancy related ailments such as squished ribs, heart burn, neck pain, varicose veins. However, there are many different schools of thought on whether Hot Yoga is ok during pregnancy. Googling ‘hot yoga while pregnant’ will bring up a lot of the scare stories too!