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Guest blog - Amber Ferguson

Benefits of Postnatal Yoga 

Find out why and how postnatal yoga can help you, from Amber, mum of two and pre and postnatal yoga teacher in Norwich.  


Postnatal yoga has many benefits for new mums, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Your body is recovering from the strains of pregnancy and adapting to a new role as mother, yet sadly postnatal health is often neglected, with the focus now on your baby. By practising yoga in the postpartum period, we can improve our wellbeing and connect with our baby and other mums. It is a safe place to move your body and feel supported in a calm, comfortable, friendly space. 

A mum doing postnatal yoga

Physical healing 

Firstly, postnatal yoga is a gentle and safe form of exercise from birth. It helps with postnatal healing in the pelvic floor and pelvic alignment. Pelvic floor exercises can be done immediately and can help speed the healing process. These are incorporated into postnatal yoga classes and taught with reverse breathing, that means lifting on the exhale. We then encourage mums to incorporate into asana (postures) such as bouncing with baby and when lifting, to support the pelvic floor and back. From my own experience I know how key these tools are in postnatal recovery and I want to share them with others.  


Yoga can also assist with deep core strengthening, in a way suitable to this delicate postnatal period. The abdominal muscles are still returning to normal after pregnancy. We can check if there is any separation of these muscles, and through specific postures such kneeling plank, bridge, and boat we can work on restoring here. Strong abdominal muscles will also support the back, which can be sore after birth and as baby grows heavier. 


Back pain, along with carpel tunnel, knee pain and other sore spots can be eased through postnatal yoga. It is a place to stretch, to strengthen, to observe the body and consider if there is an area which needs more support. The shoulders are often an area of tension from hunching over a baby to feed, change and play. Therefore, throughout each class we check in on the posture, keeping your chest lifted and shoulders relaxed. We can even incorporate chest openers into the warmup song! Hand mudras help carpel tunnel, and leg strengthening helps with knee pain and alignment. 

A mum doing postnatal yoga

Individual injuries and needs can be worked around and adapted for when working with a trained and experienced teacher. You know what you are doing is safe and you can work at your own level.  


Emotional Support 

As a new mum you are dealing with many changes mentally. Postnatal yoga can help with this emotional healing. 


Mum and Baby yoga can improve mum’s self-worth and belief. Taking time to strengthen the body physically through yoga, as mentioned above, can also help mums to feel better about their bodies, as we focus on how amazing they are and reassurance that there is no need to “bounce back”.  


You can also feel more confident in your new mother role, as you know you are doing something great for your baby, learning something new and providing many emotional and physical benefits for little ones. It builds confidence in holding and lifting your baby in different and safe ways. As you feel more confident and relaxed so will your baby. You reduce worry and improve your emotional wellbeing. Much of the feedback I receive from classes is that mums feel much more confident in themselves and with their babies.  


Another way that postnatal yoga helps with wellbeing and mental health is through the breathing and relaxation techniques. Pranayama (or breathing focus) can help with calming the nervous system and dealing with new demands. You can learn varied ways to use the breath and find a way that works for you and that you can use easily at home. Soothing the nervous system reduces stress and anxiety and we can respond to our baby more calmly.  

A mum doing postnatal yoga

We all know we need to relax but may not know how to with a baby. Postnatal Yoga can help you with ways to do this. Towards the end of a class, we invite everyone into shavasana with their babies, to lay or sit and to relax the muscles. We can enjoy techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation or gratitude focus. It may be short in the session, and if you worry that your baby won’t settle, remember that you are also learning techniques to use at home. Some teachers such as myself record sessions so you could practise at home when baby is sleeping.  


Attending a regular group gives a routine to the week and gets you out of the house. Plus, some structure is good for us! Through baby yoga, we can also share ways for a gentle routine for babies such as massage techniques or singing a lullaby before sleepy time.  



We all need connection, yet sadly we have lost “the village” support network that there once was. We might feel isolated or unsure where to find help when we become a new parent. Baby and Postnatal groups are one way of forming those connections with other new mums. The yoga class is a safe place to go where other people understand and may be going through, or have gone through, the same thing. Through the sharing circle or informal chats, mums have a safe space to air concerns, which also brings awareness that everyone experiences good and bad days. A good teacher can also signpost you to other areas for support if you need it.  


A good group for new mothers should make you feel welcome and supported. You know it is somewhere you can feed and change your baby without judgement and know there is someone to look out for you. Mums report back feeling very welcome and included in my classes.

A mum doing postnatal yoga

Postnatal yoga is also great for bonding with your baby as you have uninterrupted time together. You can shower your baby with affection during this dedicated time, which builds confidence and trust between you both. There are few props and toys, as you are your baby’s favourite thing to play with! This also helps to develop communication skills through the talk, singing and eye contact. This special time can help to recreate any bonding time missed immediately after the birth. 


Ultimately Postnatal Yoga is a space to relax and have fun together! It is a time away from the chores or other children and time to just be together, mum and baby. We cannot adequately look after our families if we are not nurtured ourselves, so to attend a group that allows you to do just that is perfect! 


Amber runs Baby and Postnatal classes in Norwich, Norfolk. Find her on Facebook and Instagram @zenmumaamber or email or see her website 

As always, get in touch with me (Victoria) for information about Hypnobirthing and how it can help you. I hold regular small group classes and private 1-1 antenatal and hypnobirthing courses for expectant parents.


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