Eleanor celebrated one month with us earlier this week and I had two days in a row where I felt almost human again. I know that sounds extreme, but I’m the kind of person who is always on the go and consider myself to be fairly sharp-minded. So when baby brain, lack of sleep, and the occasional physical reminder that my body is not where it was pre-pregnancy take over, it can be frustrating.
However, I’m making progress. Each day I feel my body recovering and getting stronger. I’m walking and doing short Pilates sessions. I almost named this blog “Swan with a Twist” after two of the exercises I’m loving at the moment.
Swan is an exercise where you lay on your stomach and lift the upper half of your body into an extension, which was obviously off-limits during pregnancy. In this version, I’m using the tower which provides awesome arm and shoulder work along with a gentle stretch along my abdomen. Two words of caution for postnatal women. First, if you had a c-section, go easy on the extension and listen to your body’s limits because this exercise will stretch the front of your abdomen and, potentially, your incision. Second, if you are a nursing mama, lying on your front side may not feel good depending on how long it’s been since you last nursed or pumped, so use your best judgment.
Twist is a deep stretch for the back, arms, shoulders, ribs, and waist. I love this stretch but due to the high level of torsion, it’s not one that is recommended later on in pregnancy. Post-pregnancy, however, it feels delightful. My feet are planted up against the upright poles on the tower. My left hand is pushing the push-through bar upward while my right arm holds on to the left upright pole. The goal with this exercise is to keep both hips rooted to the mat. You may need to bend your knees to make that happen, which is just fine. Enjoy the stretch for five breaths and then switch to the other side.
I hope that whatever stage of life you’re in, you find time to move and honor your body this week.
P.S. Yes, baby Ellie is hanging out in the carseat in the background. 🙂