Hi, my name is Leah Stewart and I am returning with platas anytime to do a series on postpartum PyLadies. If you remember, I was here during my pregnancy doing a whole series of prenatal polarities and now I am nine weeks postpartum and I wanted to just talk a little bit about what the postpartum program is going to, uh, emphasize. There are postural adaptations during pregnancy that remain with us postpartum, uh, forward shoulders, uh, more of, uh, you know, rounded shoulders, anterior tilt to the pelvis, lacks abdominals, hyperextended knees, all of those are going to carry with us into postpartum. So we want to focus on our program on realigning our spine, reengage in the abdominals, restraints and in the pelvic floor. The program also is going to focus on becoming reacquainted with our body. Uh, our newly unpregnant body that we have to get used to. It can kind of feel a little bit foreign to us. Um, since we got used to having a living being move and inside of us every day and now we need to get used to that not happening. We want to also emphasize, you know, taking time to um, breathe to take time for ourselves nice and slow as we work into this program.
So these are all things that we're going to be working on in our postpartum classes. So I hope that you enjoy. Thank you. Hi there. My name is Leah Stewart and I'm here with [inaudible] anytime doing a postpartum PyLadies class, a math class. This class is designed for a women that are early postpartum. You know, within the first few months as their body is adjusting to the dramatic change after birth and after labor. What you're going gonna need for this class is a theraband, choose a theraband that has a little bit of length on it, but when that has the right amount of resistance that you desire and the second little prop that you'll need is a small ball, preferably a softer ball.
But if that's something that you don't have, that's fine. Just any ball, we'll do it. We'll be using that later in the class. I myself am just about nine weeks postpartum and I've been doing very gentle PyLadies and this is a lot of the exercises that I've been doing at home for myself. Um, sometimes I do them all in a row, sometimes I cut it down a whatever time allows me, but most important that I take a little bit of time for myself each and every day to get [inaudible], excuse me, to re get re get reacquainted, excuse me, with my body after labor and to breathe, just to feel good. And I honestly truly feel that that makes me feel more invigorated. Uh, and to be a better mother. I'm more attentive and all of those types of things that I just take a little bit of time for myself. So this class is going to focus on deep abdominal breathing, a pelvic floor work, upper back work, a little bit of shoulder, upper, um, excuse me, spinal extensor work.
These are all things that we have to work on with the potty postural adaptations of pregnancy and then postpartum as well. And those posture adaptations are still with us postpartum. After we give birth, we want to avoid a lot of trunk flection, a lot of hard abdominal work after we give birth. Just because our abdominals were so stressed that we don't want to fire them right back up right away. So we want to take time for them to heal properly. So we're going to avoid a lot of chunk questions this so we don't exacerbate any of the trauma that did happen to our abdominals and later on in the postpartum program we can start to integrate more chunk flection and more intense abdominal work. So here we go. We're going to begin lying on our backs. I want you to take the theraband and try to widen it out as much as you can and just place it right about the base of your rib cage and we're just going to lie on it and find yourself in a nice comfortable position.
Feed are about hip width, distance apart back of the head is nice and soft on your mat, shoulders and nice and open. I want you to take the theraband and just cross it over your rib cage. And if you feel more comfortable, you can even take it down a little bit lower to your waist. And we're going to start with some nice deep abdominal breathing. And this is just for you to start to feel like you're gonna take the abdominal muscles and you're just going to stitch them back together with your XL.
Suggest using a lot of that kind of knitting, stitching type of imagery. So keeping the Theravent crossover your body, you're going to take a nice big inhale, hands on your belly, breathe into your hands
As you exhale, I want you to take the Theravent and tighten it around your waist. I use that theraband and cinch the waist, if you will, like a belts. Then in how release it XL. Inhale, release. And as you tighten that theraband around your waist, just feel that the abdominal muscles are stitching back together nice and tight and then inhale. So you're kind of manually, if you will, tightening those muscles.
And inhale three more and inhale, full breath in and full breath out. One more time, breath in and just feel that nice tightening of the abdominal. Yeah, hold it there for just a moment. And then release. Go ahead and just gently place it. They're bound by your side. Now this time, place your hands over your pelvis. You can make it sort of a triangle shape with your hands, the index finger over your pubic bone and the two Hilo, your hands over your two hip bones. We're going to do some pelvic tilts here. We're going to take a nice deep breath in with the Xcel you're getting gazed at pelvic floor musculature. Engage the abdominals and you're going to let the lower back rest into the mat and then take an inhale to release it and exhale.
So these gentle pelvic tilts and breathing exercises are great. First exercise to do postpartum, you can do them within hours of giving birth. You want to be very gentle.
So you just want to use your breathing and obviously use your own discretion and how much you want to move here and just be aware that the area is very, very, very sensitive and we lease
Keep your shoulders relaxed and just breathe here in this nice tucked posterior tilt position. Breath in.
Next we're going to take our left leg and we're going to slide it out with an inhale, working on the stability of the pelvis, the stability, the trunk, and Xcel. Slide it back in just five times. Inhale, slide that left leg out. Exhale and still practice for me. As you exhale and you slip that leg in there, you're gonna imagine the abdominal walls wrapping tighter around your torso and breadth in, so just feeling that nice mobilization of the hip joint, but yet that absolute stabilization of the pelvis and the trunk and exhale. Now we're going to move our opposite arm, our right arm with our left leg. Inhale, reach the arm overhead. Feel that nice stretch to your whole body.
Exhale, inhale, reach overhead, feeling that nice and secure and exhale. Inhale, reach overhead. Trying to just gently thread that belly button down. XL Two more and reach for the links out through the toes to the fingertips all the way up through the crown of the head. Exhale last one, and breath in. Reach Nice and long and exhale Lux me right leg only reaching out with an inhale. Exhale, feel as if you're reaching that leg out of the hip joint and then retract it back in breath and keeping the abdominal wall secure and exhale. Now, if you feel like you don't have the control of your pelvis here, that you cannot extend your leg all the way out without your pelvis rocking, then don't go the full range.
Maybe just go halfway with that like you want to move just as far as you have the absolute stability in your pelvis, in your trunk five times. It's just the leg and five turns with the arm and the leg, opposite arm of leg and exhale, bring it back in. Inhale through the nose, reaching long, reaching long, the longer, longer as you reach the end, bring it back in with an exhale. Inhale, fill that length, that stretch. It's going to feel wonderful and exhale two more and just be excited that you're giving yourself a few minutes to do these gentle exercises. Now we're going to make it a little bit more advanced.
We're going to do the arms and the legs together. So securely engaged in the abdomen. We're going to reach out, breath in Nice and long. Exhale, it comes back to center and inhale. If this feels a little too challenging a little bit, you're a little bit too sensitive. Stilling your pelvis. Just maybe take one leg at a time and do both arms. Again, use your discretion being nice and safe. You want to feel good at the exercises and pull it back in. Let's do a couple more and breathe in. Reach. Nice and long. Stretch.
Feeling that nice long spine XL back in. One more time. Reach this. Take a moment to feel that beautiful stretch. Fill the back of the shoulders slightly engaging the upper back, that length through the front of the body. Then exhale, bring it back. We're going to take the theraband. We're going to as slightly up to where it's kind of wrapped around our rib cage.
I want you to take the ends, cross them again, so they're just around your, uh, the rib cage here, not over the chest. Take one arm down and just kind of hold that hand at your waist. Here we're gonna take the opposite arm with an XL. We're going to wrap that theraband and rev their rib cage and take the arm out to the side. Inhale, back up. Exhale. Inhale back up. So we're doing a little shoulder work here, but we're also still filling. That challenge is stabilizing the spine. So the, all these exercises you're getting reacquainted with the abdominals, you're firing up those abdominal muscles.
Just very gently helping them to again, get that nice stimulation.
Let's go to more breathing out and up. Last one
Those chest muscles tend to get a little bit tight with the growth of the breast and obviously the milk supply coming in. They're a little bit tender, so this is just a nice way to gently move. Again, if something doesn't feel quite right or doesn't feel good for you either, just shorten the range of motion. You can also do also do this without resistance, without any theraband. Just moving the arm back and forth. Let's go one more time. Exhale. Next we take the two ends of the theraband. I would hold it a little bit shorter. Elbows are going to be out to the side, fingertips going straight up to the ceiling with an Xcel.
Those arms go straight up.
And we're going to come right up to the seated position. So next we're going to go into some pelvic rolls with some leg lifts. Again, if the legless feel like they're too little too soon, just keep your leg down. You can always elect to do that. I want you to place your hands behind your thighs. Just say, feel a nice support here. I did a lot of these exercises in the prenatal classes and they're also excellent for that postpartum work as well.
So keeping your back nice and extended, you're going to take a big inhale through your nose with the XL. You're going to round the lower back. Let the pelvis respond as you roll back into a pelvic tilt. And then inhale, you're going to reset the spine as you come all the way at and with an XL round the lower back by drawing the abdomen and let the pubic bone come up toward the ceiling and take it back two more times. Exhale and take it back. Exhale and take it back. Now we can lift one leg XL as we rock lower back, initiates pelvis, follows leg lifts up and bring it back abdominals, lower back, pelvis, legs,
So Xcel wrap those fingertips over one another here.
So you want to just listen to your body, take it nice and easy. Again, remember it took you nine months to get, grow a baby inside of you to give birth within hours. You're not pregnant anymore. So we have to give our body lots of time for that healing process and come back up. Let's do one more to finish this XL and all the way yet. So we're going to do a little bit of side work, a little bit of rounding of the spine on to take your right arm out, go over the head and you're going to side bend to your left, round your body forward, forehead towards your knees and then just articulate your spine up. You can do it four times in each direction. So we're going to go the same way.
Side, bend over haul though the abdomen. Drop the head and articulate that. So just feeling that nice freedom of the movement, that stretching of the rib cage, a stretching of the upper back here and Baca. One more time and reach with an inhale and with an exhale hollow and back up to the top. Let's go the other direction. Left arm, inhale and Baca and reach out. Arm over and around and roll back up. Two more reeds, beautiful side stretch and XL and back up. One more time. Big sides, jets, keeping the abdominal wall and gauge and around and all the way yet. Now this time we're going to take the fingers interlace behind the head.
We've done a lot of poster, your tilt to activate the pelvic floor and the abdominal muscles. Now I want to just do a little bit of drawing the upper body down toward the lower body. So we take the fingers interlaced behind the head and we're going to x round the torso. Feel like you're pulling the rib cage down toward the pelvis and then inhale restack the spine up. Exhale, thread the belly button in and hollow. Draw the ribcage down and inhale, bring it back up again and bring it back. I feel that nice activation of the back extensors as you get to the top two more.
And Becca, one more time, XL and back at. Now we're going to take, and we're going to kind of combined a leg slide with the posterior tilt. So what I'd like you to do, slide your left leg out, flex your foot, roll into a posterior tilt to the pelvis, lift your leg up, take your leg down, point and slide back up. So again, the leg goes out first, you flex the foot. Second, you round the pelvis into a tilt. You lift the leg up, getting a little bit of hip flexor action hollowing stabilizing with the abdominals. Bring the leg down, relax the foot as you realign the spine. Slide the leg, Lexa foot, lower back, pelvis, abdominals, all activate. Hold that steady hollow even more. As you lift that leg up, take the leg down with control and bring it back up again. Slide the leg, flex the foot, rounding that back nice and controls. Lift up. Inhale, keep that control and bring it back up with an exhale and slide.
Flex. Exhale and lift. Take it down and back up. Let's try the other side. We slide the leg out, flex the foot round the lower back, let the pelvis go. Keep it tight. As you lift that leg up, take the leg down, keeping a hollow and bring it back and restack. Focus in between each exercise. Focus on that restacking of the spine. That nice extension, especially in your upper back slide.
They like out. Flex the foot round as you go down. Exhale up. Inhale all the way back out. Flex taking everything back. Lift the leg up in here. Let's go three more times. Good. Nice tuck. I liked this exercise because it gives a nice articulation through the leg, the hip, the foot. Nice articulation through the spine.
Challenges, the stability, the abdominal activation in a nice, safe, manageable way for postpartum and lift up. Next little series we're going to do, we're going to need our therabands. I want you to take your theraband, flex your feet and place it around your feet so you're resting on your heels. Ready to take the arms back. Boom. So we're getting a little bit of shoulder work.
We're going to Tuck the pelvis and go down. We're going to extend the Stein on an angle. We're going to round the spine, and then we're going to sit up and release. So the steps are arms first, holding your back straight, rounding that back, getting that abdominal activation, keeping your arm steady, extend your back. You can even pull the arms back a little bit more and then you're going to round again, keeping those arms back and then restack everything back up. So we go. Exhale.
Inhale XL. Inhale
One more time. Arms back, engaging. Centering, fill that beautiful extension. Lift that chest step. Keep those shoulders strong, bring it back. And uh, if the Theravent is just a little bit too much on the shoulders, you can do that whole series without any resistance or without any arms. And just focus on the spinal aspect. Now take the theraband, move it, and let's place it just behind the thighs, just above the knee and you want to grab, um, you know, as tight as you come in a little bit closer, it's going to be a little bit more resistance so you can choose those works best for you. And I want you to lean back a little bit in a slight tech of the pelvis and we're going to take the arms and we're going to do a little bit of rotation. So you're going to rotate those arms and bring it back, rotate it the shoulder and bring it back.
Xcel as you rotate and bring it back, just four and exhale and then release and sit up. Just give those shoulders a little bit of a break. Good. Come back into the polite posterior tilt. Take those arms back up. Make sure you had the 90 degree and got your elbow. And we rotate XL Xcel,
And let's try one more time taking it back, keeping those arms nice and steady and we rotate again. This is a little bit more of a challenging exercise on the chunk stabilization on the shoulders. One more time and slowly we come back up to the top. Okay, so next we're gonna move onto us as lying side series. This is where you're gonna need the little ball. So I want you to go in, lying aside, and you're going to place the ball and you're gonna place it actually just above your knee in between your inner thighs. So position yourself here, shoulders, shoulder, hip, hip, nice straight line from your shoulders down to your toes. If you feel more comfortable, more steady, you can bring those legs slightly forward, but make sure that bottom arm is underneath your ear.
So here we're going to give a little squeeze with the ball. We're going to do what I call a pelvic glaive. Here, we're going to take the top leg, you're going to reach it out away from your body. So you're going to glide that top side of the pelvis away from your center body. Then with an exhale, you're going to bring it back up. So we're activating the obliques here.
We're activating a muscle called the quadratus lumborum as well, and bring it back. And we just gently mobilizing the pelvis a little bit.
You don't need to do the pelvic glide here. So inhale, reach that top leg away from you and XL. I'm looking for about 10 of these. So let's do about three more reach and the whole time you just have a nice gentle squeeze on the ball. That's why it's nice to have a softball in between the thighs there and bring it back.
So when we finish here, we want to make sure we go back to that alignment. Now we're going to take the breath in here, keeping the top hand firmly down into the mat. You also keep the bottom hand down. We're going to lift the body up and take it down. So again, we're getting a bleak work from a different angle. Good. And you're going to get a little bit of lot work on the underside and take yourself down. Nice big XL.
Try to keep tension out of that top shoulder. One more time and all the way. Okay, good. So we're going to take that out, set the ball aside and we're going to come on to all fours. I'm going to do a little plank series. Plank exercises are excellent for postpartum because there are a nice safe way to activate the abdominals, activate the pelvic floor, activate the shoulders in the upper back without having to perform any unnecessary, um, flection that on the body. So when I take the theraband, you're just going to lie it out here for me. So it's nice and flat and we're going to start with a very simple cat stretch.
So I want you to place your hands on the theraband and you want your shoulders directly over your wrist, your hips directly over your knees. When you take the breath into prepare with the exhale, you're going to ground that lower back. Let the rest of the spine respond. Let the pelvis come into the posterior tilt. Look down towards your pelvis at your pubic bone, and inhale back to the flat back. With an exhale, you're going to lift your chest, head, neck, and chest up into upper back extension.
This feels excellent to get a beautiful stretch on that lower back, which is still going to be a little tight, maybe a little bit uncomfortable early postpartum and reach back. Inhale and then try to keep the bottom part secure to lift and elevate the head, neck and chest, the upper back, activating the upper back and bring it back. Xcel thread the belly button in. Deepen, deepen. Feel the inner thighs active, the squeezing of the pelvic floor and back to Santa ticket. Nicest slow breathing
So just going to couple couple shakes and then we'll go back and try kneeling position. So up we go. Now you can elect to do this without the theraband, which is just fine. And the theraband if you want some resistance. So we're going to have a little bit of a balance on one arm. We need to take the opposite arm up as we're holding the theraband. We're going to circle up out to the side and down. Exhale up, out to the side and down.
So a lot of upper back and shoulder and trunk stabilization as we do this. So we go up.
So finding your position shoulder over the wrists, hips over the knees, squaring yourself off as best as you can. Feeling nice and steady. Lift up
We're going to do front plank and we're going to do side plank. Again, a great way to use your breath again to feel like you're stitching those abdominal muscles together. You're kind of squeezing the musculature deep within the pelvis, keeping your back nice and strong. I want you to come down onto your elbows. You can class the fingers together. Very classic plank exercise. Take one leg back, get yourself established, slip the other leg back, slowly began to lower your pelvis. Lift your upper back up just for a moment. And we're going to breathe and I want you to avoid sagging abdominals. So when you XL fill, you're gonna lift the abdominal wall up toward the spine,
So now we're going to move on to our side plank position. So you're gonna flex your feet and nice and strong. This hand can go on top of your waist, or if you'd like for balance, you can keep it just down in front of you. We're going to take the breath in with an XL. We lift the hips up off the mat, pushing down into that elbow. Even feel like that elbow is going to pull in towards your hips and just holds here. I would like to see one to five breadth depending on how much you can do.
You can build up as your strength comes back.
Lift up with those underside obliques, keeping your back active. Your abdominal is nice and active and breathe.
We're going to lie on our stomach. I want you to place one hand on top of the other and your forehead on the back of the top hand. From here we're going to move into a nice easy back extension exercise. I want you to keep your hands and your elbows down onto your mat. And with the inhale you're going to prepare. I want you to XL, press those arms, it's done. And just gently lift your upper back off the mat, not very high. Keep your eyes on your hands.
So the next stays in line with the spine and bring it down and lift up with the next sale. And this is just a really activate the upper and mid back. Xcel. Press Down with those arms to fill the shoulders. Also engage, you'll find if you come up too high into extension to early posted, pardon it. It's quite uncomfortable on those abdominal muscles, the stretch that happens. So just staying nice and conservative with your range of motion is going to be best xls.
This is going to give you a beautiful stretch of your chest muscles as well. And then slowly bend your elbows and come back down and with your Xcel. So for those who you know, this is kind of a modified version of an exercise. We call the AA kick and slowly bring it down with an exhale.
The shoulder blades are going to pinch together and slowly down. Just a couple more exhale back of the neck is long, so the energy out through the crown of the head, but like the shoulder blades are going to roll and pool together and down. One more time, XL and slowly down. Place your hands underneath your shoulders. Gently begin to push yourself up and just gently sit back on your heels and stretch out that back. Rest your head completely on your mat.
Just take a couple of deep breath here and start to roll yourself up.