Returning to Movement Postpartum

Here at Sakura Bloom we love being able to connect with our community beyond our slings. That’s why we’re so excited to introduce Kiersten Markham, Regional Director of BIRTHFIT San Diego. She really does it all —from serving as a labor and postpartum doula for over six years to working with women pre-conception, she’s even a Pre- and Perinatal educator (PPNE) through APPPAH (Association of Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health). We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Kiersten sharing her expertise with us, starting with this first series on Returning to Movement Postpartum.  

Returning to movement during the postpartum time can sometimes feel overwhelming. Maybe you stayed really active during your pregnancy and no longer having your usual routine and community is leaving you feeling antsy and isolated. Or maybe working out isn’t really your thing, but you feel like you want to try...something. In any case, your body needs time to heal and return to movement in a way that honors what it’s accomplished. You’ve just gone through a powerful transformation, so offer yourself patience. The healing journey requires rest, but it also requires restorative movement. Here are a couple ways you can begin to move for pleasure. 

Diaphragmatic Breath 

The diaphragm is an incredible muscle that we often neglect. Not only is it our primary muscle for respiration, but it also stabilizes our core. When we are young we breathe with our diaphragms with ease. Watch your baby or toddler breathe with their beautiful belly, expanding on the inhale and relaxing on the exhale. As we get older we often sit more, take on poor posture, and begin breathing up in our chest rather than down in our belly. We start to disconnect from this powerful muscle and over time it can become tight and/or weakened.   

As you begin to build your foundation of healing and strength postpartum you must reconnect with your breath, because breath is life! I recommend beginning your healing by incorporating 10 minutes of belly breathing into your day. 

* When you wake up your diaphragm you begin to release emotional tension. This is normal and I encourage you to give yourself space to be with whatever emotions emerge.    

Baby-Wearing Walks

One of best ways to return to movement postpartum is walking. Baby-wearing walks are an excellent way for you to get your body moving, enjoy fresh air, and bond with your baby. If you’re early postpartum start with 15-20 minute walks, checking in with yourself afterwards. If bleeding does not return and you are feeling good, continue each day, slowly increasing time as you feel ready. If you’re feeling extra tired after the walk, bleeding returns, and/or you experience urinary incontinence take a nap and give yourself more time to rest.  

One of the great things about baby-wearing walks is that it’s never too late to start. Whether you’re 4 weeks postpartum or 4 months postpartum you and your baby will receive all the awesome benefits of walking together.   

With that said, grab your Sakura Bloom and go enjoy the day!