May 2016: Postpartum Programming Day 1
Welcome to our postpartum online programming!
We like to call this phase the QUEEN IN TRAINING.
For a lot of you this is the immediate fourth trimester and you just had a baby. (P.S. Congratulations!) For a few of you, this is your first step towards intentional movement and exercise in quite some time. Whatever it is that brought you here, we are grateful to be included in your movement journey.
We believe in the power of movement. We believe in purposeful, efficient movements. We believe in movements that translate to many different aspects of your daily life. We believe in discipline. We believe in hard work, and, we believe in YOU.
Some cultures have specific protocols for new moms. For instance, the Chinese have a super specific lying-in period of 42 days. In Bali, mom and baby do not take a bath until the baby’s cord falls off. In the United States, we lack a set of traditions for postpartum and of course there is not a specific rehab protocol for moms post cesarean birth, even though it was a major abdominal surgery.
Be mindful of your body. Nourish your soul. And, above all, bond with your baby (or babies).
Posture and Awareness.
Our posture is the most important tool to setting our new foundation in our newly transformed physical body. Start with your bare feet. Try to connect with your heel, your big toe, and your baby toe. Move up your body to your knees. Leave them unlocked and relaxed. Moving up to your pelvis, I want you to find pelvis neutral for you. This looks different for everyone. But, think of your pelvis like a bowl of water. Don’t spill any out of the front or the back;) Moving up your body, check in with your rib cage. Stack your rib cage nicely over your pelvis while also lifting your chest. To complete the posture, lift your head as if a string was pulling you up from the crown of your head.
This is super important for you to become familiar with your breath again. Prior to pregnancy, you may have not given your breath much thought and that’s okay. During pregnancy, you may have become more familiar with your breath. Now, we must re-establish that diaphragm breathing in order to get the entire core functioning as it is designed to function.
Functional Progression Part 1.
With Part 1, I want you to focus on breath and form. If you notice at any point that you are holding your breath or that your lower back is majorly arching, then stop and reset and start again. No big deal. We are going to break this down today.
Step 1: Make sure you can hold the dead bug position for 30-60 seconds.
Step 2: Extend one arm at a time for 10 slow reps with just your arms, while maintaining your breath.
Step 3: Arms go back to neutral and extend one leg at a time. This will be more difficult. Perform 10 slow reps while maintaining your breath and a neutral spine.
Step 4: If both of the above felt good, then perform 10 slow reps of opposite arm and opposite leg together for each side. Remember that if form goes to shit or breath stops, then stop and reset and restart.
Functional Progression Part 2.
We are working towards the actual Functional Progression Part 2. However, today, we are only doing the first step of the Functional Progression Part 2. Just as with any movement, take a fresh breath before each movement, and exhale as your lower your pelvis to the ground. Hold for 5-10 seconds at the top of each movement, and yes, you can start your exhale here and continue through the lowering.
12 x 2 Each Side
Rest as needed between round one and two.
Now, this is obviously not going to be a box squat you would see in the gym, but the intention and the movement will be the same. You will be squatting to something that is below parallel (even if it’s one inch) or squatting to something that is to your comfort level for today. With each squat I want you to take a breath in and exhale after you butt touches all the way up to standing. To complete the movement, squeeze you booty at the top with knees locked out. You are standing all the way up between each rep.
12 x 2
Rest as needed between doubles and between the first and second round.
BIRTHFIT believes in Baby-Wearing…
We are huge fans of baby-wearing. Strollers and car-seat carriers are convenient but they really do nothing to enhance your physical body’s performance nor do they do anything to accelerate the development of an infant’s spine and motor patterns. We have found some awesome baby-wearing resources in some of our affiliate cities, and BabywearingLA is great place to start for more information.
For today’s conditioning we ask that you go on a walk while wearing your baby. Put the baby in a carrier on the front of your body and just move for 30 minutes. You do not have to go far, but bond and move with baby.