After the first week of visitors and not feeling able to rest in my own home (like the midwife instructed), I put a kibosh on all visitors this past week except for my sisters who came to do laundry and cook for us. And boy, did that help! Anyone who’s been through postpartum recovery knows just how essential it is to get proper rest and nutrition immediately after the baby. There’s so much bleeding and leaking and no sleep and on top of that, the hemorrhoids (my god, the hemorrhoids!!!).
But, this is not a mommy blog. This is a blog where I can reflect on what I’ve learned through yoga, and I knew I needed to listen to my body and make modifications to improve my health. As much as I wanted to be up and moving about my house like normal, I had to force myself to lie down (sitting hurt so much) and ask that the distractions of visitors be put on hold until I could heal. Like during pregnancy, no jumping, no twisting, no fun stuff.
When we were finally able to focus on our little family, I got my brain attuned again on how to care for a newborn. There are so many things that I had forgotten, but as the saying goes, it was like riding a bike again. And the first thing that came back to me was GAS MANAGEMENT.
Newborns are so gassy. When they cry, they swallow air. When they are furiously trying to latch with their wobbly heads, they swallow air. While they’re gulping down milk, they swallow air. And all of that air stays trapped in their systems. No matter how big of a burp I can get out of Bear Shark, I know there is more that stayed in his tummy. It’s not until I change his diaper that I fully realize how much gas he has.
Here’s where the yoga comes in!
At diaper changes, I raise Bear Shark’s legs into the air and then into his chest a la happy baby pose. I’ll even rock his legs side to side for a nice little back massage, and farts galore! It’s like a deflating balloon. (Warning: This sometimes stimulates a bowel movement, so I always make sure to leave the diaper secured.)
There’s another pose called pavanmuktasana, or wind relieving pose. Yup, it’s exactly how it sounds. You bring one leg into the chest at a time, putting just the right amount of pressure to give the intestines a hug. I’ll slowly stretch his legs into this pose and then alternate. Ahh… the sound of gas.
With my older son, we call this “farting the baby,” and he thinks it’s the funniest thing. I definitely live in a house full of boys.