thier Me TodayBaby Yoga: We don’t just mean adults when we say yoga is for everyone. Yoga is not only good for the body but also for people of all ages! Some traditional explanations of yoga state that it is a practice of presence — and who is more present than babies? “Babies are yoga,” says internationally recognized postnatal teacher Jane Austin.
What Is Parent And Baby Yoga?
Parent and baby yogais a type of yoga where parents or caregivers use their hands and bodies to move a baby in various stretching and strengthening positions. There is usually an emphasis on play and song as well. While the movement is taught in these classes, many parent and baby yoga classes focus on strengthening the bond between the parent and the child. This can occasionally include instructor-led baby massage.
Babies lack the attention span for a full-length yoga class, which can last 60-90 minutes, so baby yoga is frequently taught in a “mommy and me” setting — or in what is now more commonly referred to as “parent and baby” or “caregiver and child” classes. The caretaker moves their body through healing poses alongside their baby, who lies on a blanket next to or beneath them in parent and baby classes.
The poses taught are frequently intended to heal the body from birth, but they are also used to aid in the physical adjustments of parenthood. Shoulder openers, for example, are taught to counteract the posture that results from holding a baby for extended periods.
Austin, a prenatal yoga instructor, prefers to focus her postnatal classes on nourishing the parent. As a result, the baby spends most of their time on the blanket while the parent moves. Later in the course, the parent spends time singing and carrying the baby.
When Can Babies Start Baby Yoga?
Most expecting mothers are advised not to exercise for a certain period after giving birth. When it comes to uncomplicated vaginal births, the time to resume exercise is usually around six weeks. Doctors frequently advise waiting until eight weeks after cesarean delivery.
Austin reminds new parents that these are only guidelines and should pay attention when their babies stop bleeding. The uterus must undergo involution after birth to return to its pre-pregnancy state.
This takes time, and the cessation of any bleeding, known as lochia, is the best indicator that involution has occurred successfully. Austin believes that even spotting should be considered bleeding. Many parents and baby yoga classes require babies to be six weeks old, but this is often based on the parent’s healing process rather than the child’s ability. If your pediatrician approves, you can begin gently moving your baby as soon as they are born.
Babies begin to practice spontaneous movements such as craning their necks for feedings or wrapping their fingers around yours. These are the results of primal instincts. Gentle leg movements can help relieve gas and encourage bowel movements, as we will discuss further below. If your baby is born prematurely, please consult with your doctors to determine the best timeline for you and your baby. Always double-check with your pediatrician before beginning any movement classes that your baby’s movements and behaviors are within normal range.
How Does Baby Yoga Benefit Baby?
Medical experts warn that a baby frequently vomiting may indicate a more significant digestive issue, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease. You should always double-check with your baby’s pediatrician to ensure your baby’s digestive behaviors are within normal range. Wee Yogis Organization, founded by Jocelyn Kay Levy, aims to bring yoga and mindfulness to children of all ages. For nearly 15 years, she has been teaching baby yoga. While Levy occasionally includes movement for parents or caregivers, her classes focus primarily on the child.
In addition to fostering a bond between the caregiver and the baby, Levy believes that baby yoga is hugely beneficial to the baby’s digestion. The digestive systems of newborns are immature. As a result, many of them experience gas, constipation, and spit up shortly after feedings. Medical experts warn that frequent vomiting in a baby could indicate a more significant digestive problem, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease. Always double-check with your baby’s pediatrician to ensure their digestive behaviors are within the normal range.
Moving a baby’s limbs also helps them improve their gross motor skills by firing neuronal connections that aid in developing movement patterns. An older study even discovered that baby yoga could improve a baby’s sleep. That is often a sufficient reason for most new parents to try baby yoga!
How Does Parent And Baby Yoga Benefit The Parent?
Of course, spending time with your baby can aid in the development of a stronger bond during the postpartum period. However, yoga can also help with some specific postnatal issues:
- Baby Yoga can help with the healing process after birth, including pelvic floor strengthening and uterine involution. Austin advises birth parents to take their time healing after giving birth, emphasizing that the time frame is personal.
- Postpartum depression symptoms may be alleviated: According to a 2015 study, postnatal yoga significantly reduced the rate of postpartum depression in participants.
- Stress and anxiety are reduced: According to a recent study, yoga may be an effective complementary treatment for anxiety and depression.
Considerations For Parent And Baby Yoga
Relaxin should be considered in addition to listening to your postpartum body and observing lochia, as Austin suggests. This is the protein hormone responsible for loosening connective tissue throughout your body. When you are pregnant, your body starts producing relaxin.
As a result, people who are both pre- and postnatal have increased joint flexibility. Relaxin also affects postpartum parents; some experts believe it takes 3-5 months after birth for relaxin to leave your body altogether.
Diastasis recti can occur when the necessary separation or stretching of the linea alba during pregnancy does not completely heal. Before resuming specific movements, Austin recommends consulting with a pelvic floor therapist or a postpartum healthcare expert.
Postnatal yoga classes, on the other hand, can be beneficial for easing new parents back into the movement because they are less intense than a typical flow class.
The Last Notes on Baby Yoga
Yoga can benefit people of all ages, but classes that include infants have the added benefit of bonding between caregiver and baby. Some courses are geared toward babies who have yet to crawl, while others are geared toward crawlers and, later, toddlers. Check your studio’s schedule to find an appropriate class for you and your baby. But remember that you don’t need a perfect type or all the right yoga equipment to do parent and baby yoga. You only need to be present with your child.
Conclusion on Baby Yoga
Baby yoga classes tend to concentrate on moving the baby’s body, whereas parent and baby yoga classes focus on both the caregiver and the baby. Babies begin practicing yoga as soon as they are born because they live entirely in the present moment.
A parent may be permitted to exercise as soon as six weeks after a vaginal delivery or eight weeks after a cesarean delivery. However, if you had any complications during birth, your healthcare team may ask you to wait longer. In any case, get permission from your OB-GYN or midwife and your pediatrician before you start. Parent and baby yoga is excellent for strengthening the bond between the baby and the caregiver. It also aids in developing the baby’s gross motor skills and digestion.