According to Dr. Oscar Serrallach, an Australia-based family practitioner and author, postnatal depletion is the condition when a woman suffers from the consequences of pregnancy and childbearing.
He says that during pregnancy, the placenta passes nutrients to the baby and taps on the mother’s reserves. This takes a toll on the mother’s body causing hormonal, emotional, and nutritional failure.
The condition is associated with adrenal fatigue wherein the adrenal glands that secrete several important hormones and chemicals responsible for your stress response. Intense, prolonged physical, mental, and emotional stress like postpartum and lack of self-care result to adrenal overdrive, eliciting adrenal fatigue symptoms like:
● Anxiety, depression, or irritability
● Brain fog
● Inability to relax
● Digestive problems
● Constant exhaustion
● Low sex drive
● Sleeping problems
● Lethargy and poor energy
● Decreased immunity and resiliency to disease and stress
Five Yoga Exercises for postnatal Depletion
Since the symptoms are related to stress, yoga is a way to relax, focus on your breathing, and also improve your body’s hormonal and chemical balance.
Here are five yoga poses that will help relieve your symptoms and instructions on how to perform them. According to Shiva Rea, an expert for pre- and postnatal yoga, you can do these various exercises, and yoga poses as a workout or do different moves throughout the day.
1. Bridge Pose
- Lie on your back with bent knees, feet flat, and heels under your knees.
- Put your weight on your feet, engage your bum and inner thighs without putting pressure on the lower back.
- Exhale and lift your pelvis.
- Keep the pressure on the middle arches of your feet and outer edge of the heels.
- While lifting, observe your breathing and lower back. Don’t lift beyond what’s comfortable for you.
- Complete 1 to 2 sets of 10 reps for 3 to 4 weeks.
This opens the shoulders, heart, and chest while stretching the thighs, hips, neck, and spine. It also stimulates the thyroid gland and abdomen for improved metabolism and digestion.
2. Pelvic Tilts
- Lie with your back flat and your feet hip-width apart.
- Extend your arms straight by your sides, palms down.
- Tuck your tailbone slightly under to allow your spine to settle on the floor and relieve pressure off your lower back.
- Inhale, then exhale while slowly lifting your hips towards the ceiling.
- Keep your tailbone tucked, pelvis tilted, and lower belly in.
- Hold this position for one or two breaths and then go back to starting position.
- Repeat for five to ten reps.
This strengthens the legs, hips, lower and upper back while increasing awareness of the lower abdomen and the pelvic floor.
3. Plank Vinyasa
- Go down on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders with a folded blanket underneath for support or simply lower onto your forearms.
- Get into a plank position by straightening your legs behind you and balancing on the balls of the feet.
- Engage your abs up and in, and align your head with your spine.
- Stretch your spine and put your weight on the balls of your feet.
- Take a deep breath and exhale while drawing your right knee to your chest by contracting your lower abdominal muscles.
- Return to a plank and repeat on the other leg.
- Do eight to twenty reps.
This improves your strength and stamina, especially on the back and deep abdominal muscles.
4. Locust Pose
- Lie on your belly with legs hip-width apart and your head resting on your hands (position A).
- Clasp your hands behind your back while stretching your spine, squeezing your butt, and pressing your hips against the floor as you lift your legs, shoulders, and head off the mat.
- As you do, keep your neck aligned with your spine, your legs extended out, tailbone tucked, and belly engaged (position B).
- Hold this for three to five breaths then go back to starting position.
- Do this for 2 to 3 reps.
This move strengthens the core and stretches the shoulders and chest to improve posture and relieve back and upper body strain.
When doing this move postpartum and while recovering from a Caesarean delivery it is advised to be mindful of your C section scar, your spine, and abdomen.
- Go down on all fours with your knees under your hips and wrists under your shoulders.
- Inhale and exhale while rounding your back and dropping the crown of your head and tailbone.
- Instead of the abdominals, focus on contracting your hips, shoulder, and spine.
- For your next inhale, let your belly fall without forcing it and lift your tailbone and head.
- Continue alternating for 10 complete breaths.
This move releases tension from the neck and upper back while stretching the neck, shoulders, spine, and hips.
These moves can help you recover and overcome postnatal depletion symptoms to be the best mom you can be!