C-Section Recovery: Restorative Sequences for New Moms

Nicole Crawford

Contributor - Women's, Family, and Kids' Fitness

Women's Fitness, Family and Kids

The goal of these workouts is to begin the slow process of healing after a c-section. The sequences are done three times a week and focus on three critical aspects of recovery:

 

  1. Restoration of the Abdominal Muscles
  2. Meditation
  3. Re-conditioning the Body With Regular Walking

 

These workouts are intended for women who are still in the first eight weeks of recovery post-cesarean. You can start the routines as early as two days after your c-section. The goal of this cycle is to get you to a point where you are comfortable walking up to one hour at a moderate to brisk pace with a stroller.

 

There are four two-week phases and you will gradually increase the length of walks and amount of exercises during each week.  Each workout includes a short meditation practice to help you process your birth experience and adjust to the mental and emotional demands of caring for a newborn.

 

If you experience pain at the incision site at any time during these exercises, stop immediately. Feel free to modify the workouts as needed and increase or decrease the intensity as you feel comfortable.

 

Congratulations on the birth of your baby and best of luck in your recovery!

Phase 1: Week 1, Day 1

Phase 1: Supine Exercise and Walking Focus
This two-week phase focuses on reconnecting with the transverse abdominal muscles with simple supine exercises you can do in bed. You will also work up to twenty minutes of walking each day. In meditation the focus is processing your birth experience and addressing any fears or anxiety you might have about your birth experience and life with a newborn.

 

A. Supine Exercises

  • Belly Breathing x 10 breaths: Breathe deeply and focus on expanding through the diaphragm. When you exhale, draw your navel in toward your spine.
  • Leg Slides x 5 per side - Lie in bed with your knees bent. Slowly slide one leg out until it is fully extended, then draw it back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
  • Pelvic Tilt x 10 - With your knees bent, raise your pelvis off the bed and lower right away. Repeat.

 

B. Walking

Walk for 3 minutes, then rest for 2 minutes. Walk for 3 more minutes. Repeat at least once more later in the day.

 

C. Meditation
As a mom, doula, and pre/postnatal trainer I've found that processing your birth experience goes a long way in gaining peace and acceptance after having a baby. Women who have had c-sections sometimes feel regret or a lack of involvement in their birth, and meditation can help heal those feelings.

 

For this meditation find a quiet place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and count ten slow breaths, in and out. Quiet your mind and prepare to ask yourself these questions:

 

  • What emotions do I feel when I think about my child's birth
  • Do I feel any guilt or regret about any aspects of the birth?
  • Have I accepted these aspects?

 

From here, complete the Shifting Perspectives Meditation.

 

Week 1, Day 2

A. Supine Exercises

 

  • Belly Breathing x 12 breaths: Breathe deeply and focus on expanding through the diaphragm. When you exhale, draw your navel in toward your spine.
  • Leg Slides x 8 per side: Lie in bed with your knees bent. Slowly slide one leg out until it is fully extended, then draw it back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
  • Pelvic Tilt x 12: With your knees bent, raise your pelvis off the bed and lower. Repeat.
  • Rolling Over x 3 per side: You want to avoid the jackknife movement after a c-section to get out of bed. Instead, practice rolling from side to side. Lie on your back and place a pillow over your incision site. Slowly shift your weight to the right and stack your legs on top of each other. Push your upper body up with your lower elbow, then relax. Rest here for a minute, then repeat on the left side.

 

B. Walking

Walk for 3 minutes, then rest for 2 minutes. Walk for 3 more minutes. Repeat at least once more later in the day.

 

C. Meditation
Repeat the meditation from Day 1, but focus this time on any anxieties you have about raising a baby and transitioning into motherhood. Maybe you feel anxious about going to work, lack of sleep, or regaining your strength. Whatever it is, focus on accepting the challenge and working through it during your meditation practice.

 

Week 1, Day 3

A. Supine Exercises

  • Belly Breathing x 12 breaths: Breathe deeply and focus on expanding through the diaphragm. When you exhale, draw your navel in toward your spine.
  • Leg Slides x 8 per side: Lie in bed with your knees bent. Slowly slide one leg out until it is fully extended, then draw it back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
  • Pelvic Tilt x 12: With your knees bent, raise your pelvis off the bed and lower. Repeat.
  • Rolling Over x 3 per side: You want to avoid the jackknife movement after a c-section to get out of bed. Instead, practice rolling from side to side. Lie on your back and place a pillow over your incision site. Slowly shift your weight to the right and stack your legs on top of each other. Push your upper body up with your lower elbow, then relax. Rest here for a minute, then repeat on the left side.

 

B. Walking
Walk for 4 minutes, rest for 2 minutes, then walk 4 more minutes. Repeat at least once later in the day.

 

C. Meditation
Sit in a quiet place and take five deep breaths to center yourself. Close your eyes and visualize your baby. Think about the things you love most about him or her - the movements, the faces, the noises. Breathe deeply for five minutes and simply feel gratitude, for a safe delivery, healthy baby, and whatever is on the horizon.

 

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you're in.

 

 

Week 2, Day 1

Phase 1: Supine Exercise and Walking Focus
This two-week phase focuses on reconnecting with the transverse abdominal muscles with simple supine exercises you can do in bed. You will also work up to twenty minutes of walking each day. In meditation the focus is processing your birth experience and addressing any fears or anxiety you might have about your birth experience and life with a newborn.

 

A. Supine Exercises

  • Belly Breathing x 15 breaths: Breathe deeply and focus on expanding through the diaphragm. When you exhale, draw your navel in toward your spine.
  • Leg Slides x 10: Lie in bed with your knees bent. Slowly slide both legs out until they are fully extended, then draw them back to the starting position. Repeat.
  • Pelvic Tilt with Bracing x 12: Inhale and with your knees bent, raise your pelvis off the bed and lower. As you lower, exhale and draw your navel to your spine. Repeat.
  • Rolling Over x 5 per side: You want to avoid the jackknife movement after a c-section to get out of bed. Instead, practice rolling from side to side. Lie on your back and place a pillow over your incision site. Slowly shift your weight to the right and stack your legs on top of each other. Push your upper body up with your lower elbow, and hold this top position for 10 seconds. Relax and rest here for a minute, then repeat on the left side.

 

B. Walking

Walk for 5 minutes, rest for 3 minutes, then walk 5 more minutes. Repeat at least once later in the day.

 

C. Meditation
Chances are your baby has his or her days and nights mixed up. This will not last forever, but it is challenging. Do this meditation before bed to relieve any stress or anxiety from the day: Restful Sleep Meditation

 

Week 2, Day 2

A. Supine Exercises

  • Belly Breathing x 15 breaths: Breathe deeply and focus on expanding through the diaphragm. When you exhale, draw your navel in toward your spine.
  • Leg Slides x 15: Lie in bed with your knees bent. Slowly slide both legs out until they are fully extended, then draw them back to the starting position. Repeat.
  • Pelvic Tilt with Bracing x 15: Inhale and with your knees bent, raise your pelvis off the bed and lower. As you lower, exhale and draw your navel to your spine. Repeat.
  • Rolling Over x 8 per side: You want to avoid the jackknife movement after a c-section to get out of bed. Instead, practice rolling from side to side. Lie on your back and place a pillow over your incision site. Slowly shift your weight to the right and stack your legs on top of each other. Push your upper body up with your lower elbow, and hold this top position for 10 seconds. Relax and rest here for a minute, then repeat on the left side.

 

B. Walking

Walk for 5 minutes, rest for 2 minutes, then walk 5 more minutes. Repeat at least once later in the day.

 

C. Meditation
This meditation is modified and is taken from the book "Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful" by Gurmukh:

 

Exercise for Strong, Loving Arms: Sit cross-legged on the floor (use support if needed) and stretch your arms out to the front of you. Press your palms together and keep your arms parallel to the ground. Inhale and open your arms, feeling your lungs expand. Stretch as far as you can comfortably go. On the exhale, bring your arms back to center. Continue for ten deep breaths.

 

Week 2, Day 3

A. Supine Exercises

  • Belly Breathing x 20 breaths: Breathe deeply and focus on expanding through the diaphragm. When you exhale, draw your navel in toward your spine.
  • Leg Slides x 20: Lie in bed with your knees bent. Slowly slide both legs out until they are fully extended, then draw them back to the starting position. Repeat. Rest as needed.
  • Pelvic Tilt with Bracing x 15: Inhale and with your knees bent, raise your pelvis off the bed and lower. As you lower, exhale and draw your navel to your spine. Repeat.
  • Rolling Over x 10 per side (when you wake up and before you go to sleep): You want to avoid the jackknife movement after a c-section to get out of bed. Instead, practice rolling from side to side. Lie on your back and place a pillow over your incision site. Slowly shift your weight to the right and stack your legs on top of each other. Push your upper body up with your lower elbow, and hold this top position for 10 seconds. Relax and rest here for a minute, then repeat on the left side.

 

B. Walking

Walk for 5 minutes, rest for 1 minute, then walk 5 more minutes. Repeat at least once later in the day.

 

C. Meditation
Chances are your baby has his or her days and nights mixed up. This will not last forever, but it is challenging. Do this meditation before bed to relieve any stress or anxiety from the day: Restful Sleep Meditation

 

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you're in.

 

 

Phase 2: Week 3, Day 1

Phase 2: Upright Exercise and Walking Focus
This two-week phase focuses on reconnecting with the transverse abdominal muscles while also transitioning into upright exercise. You will work up to 35 minutes of walking each day. In meditation the focus is healing, accepting the changes that come with the birth of a new baby, and reconnecting with your breath.

 

A. Upright Exercises

Do all the following exercises with as little pause between them as is comfortable.

  • Belly Breathing x 20 breaths: Stand tall with your feet a hip width apart. Place one hand on your abdomen as you inhale deeply. Focus on expanding through the diaphragm. When you exhale, draw your navel in gently toward your spine.
  • Leg Raises x 20 (10/side): Hold on to the wall or other support as you gently raise your right leg to the side, then lower. Repeat 10 times, then do the same on the left leg. Focus on extending through the spine and activating your deep core muscles.
  • Leg Circles x 40 (20/side): Moving back to the right leg, raise your leg about 5 inches off the ground and make 10 small circles in a clockwise motion. Rest if needed, then continue in a counterclockwise direction. Repeat on the left side.
  • Pelvic Rocking x 1 minute: Place your palms on your thighs and do gentle pelvic tilts for one minute, resting as needed.

 

B. Walking

  • Walk for 10 minutes, rest for 5 minutes, then walk 10 more minutes.
  • Walk for 5 minutes, rest for 2 minutes, then walk 5 more minutes.

 

C. Meditation
The incision site can cause pain and discomfort for some time after delivery. I had incision-related complications after my second c-section and it took almost three months for it to heal completely. Even if your incision is healing beautifully, chances are it still causes discomfort from time to time. This meditation is meant to aid in the healing process, particularly if your incision is taking longer than usual to heal or if your c-section was unexpected or unplanned.

 

Sit in a quiet space and gently place your hand over your incision site. Do not apply pressure, but simply tune into how it feels. Imagine your baby emerging from the incision site at his or her birth. Be grateful for this scar and for a safe delivery. If this reflection creates a positive sense of gratitude, stay here for ten deep breaths. If you feel any sense of resentment or disappointment surrounding your scar, move on to the Shifting Perspectives Meditation.

 

Week 3, Day 2

A. Upright Exercises

Do all the following exercises with as little pause between them as is comfortable.

  • Belly Breathing x 25 breaths: Stand tall with your feet a hip width apart. Place one hand on your abdomen as you inhale deeply. Focus on expanding through the diaphragm. When you exhale, draw your navel in gently toward your spine.
  • Leg Raises x 15/side: Hold on to the wall or other support as you gently raise your right leg to the side, then lower. Repeat 10 times, then do the same on the left leg. Focus on extending through the spine and activating your deep core muscles.
  • Leg Circles x 20/side: Moving back to the right leg, raise your leg about 5 inches off the ground and make 10 small circles in a clockwise motion. Rest if needed, then continue in a counterclockwise direction. Repeat on the left side.
  • Pelvic Rocking x 1 minute: Place your palms on your thighs and do gentle pelvic tilts for one minute, resting as needed.

 

B. Walking

  • Walk for 10 minutes, rest for 3 minutes, then walk 10 more minutes.
  • Walk for 6 minutes, rest for 2 minutes, then walk 6 more minutes.

 

C. Meditation

This is a beautiful meditation for new mothers seeking a bit of quiet and stillness: Wisdom Meditation

 

Week 3, Day 3

A. Upright Exercises

Do all the following exercises with as little pause between them as is comfortable.

  • Belly Breathing x 25 breaths: Stand tall with your feet a hip width apart. Place one hand on your abdomen as you inhale deeply. Focus on expanding through the diaphragm. When you exhale, draw your navel in gently toward your spine.
  • Leg Raises x 15/side: Hold on to the wall or other support as you gently raise your right leg to the side, then lower. Repeat 10 times, then do the same on the left leg. Focus on extending through the spine and activating your deep core muscles.
  • Leg Circles x 20/side: Moving back to the right leg, raise your leg about 5 inches off the ground and make 10 small circles in a clockwise motion. Rest if needed, then continue in a counterclockwise direction. Repeat on the left side.
  • Pelvic Rocking x 1 minute: Place your palms on your thighs and do gentle pelvic tilts for one minute, resting as needed.

 

B. Walking

  • Walk for 12 minutes, rest for 3 minutes, then walk 12 more minutes.
  • Walk for 10 minutes, rest for 3 minutes, then walk 10 more minutes.

 

C. Meditation

In the first few weeks after giving birth it can be difficult to accept help from others. Take a moment to sit in stillness and think about any events from the day that caused you to feel stressed or anxious. Ask yourself if there is a way you can reach out and ask for help in these areas.

 

Complete your meditation practice by clearing your mind the a brief 5 Minute Meditation Practice.

 

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you're in.

 

Week 4, Day 1

A. Upright Exercises

Do all the following exercises with as little pause between them as is comfortable.

  • Broomstick Good Morning x 10: Hold a broomstick or PVC pipe behind your neck and across the shoulders. Inhale and as you exhale, slowly hinge from the hips and keep your upper body parallel to the floor. Keep a soft bend in your knees when you do this exercise.
  • Leg Raises x 20/side: Hold on to the wall or other support as you gently raise your right leg to the side, then lower. Repeat 10 times, then do the same on the left leg. Focus on extending through the spine and activating your deep core muscles.
  • Leg Circles x 25/side: Moving back to the right leg, raise your leg about 5 inches off the ground and make 10 small circles in a clockwise motion. Rest if needed, then continue in a counterclockwise direction. Repeat on the left side.
  • Pelvic Rocking x 1 minute: Place your palms on your thighs and do gentle pelvic tilts for one minute, resting as needed.

 

B. Walking

  • Walk for 12 minutes, rest for 3 minutes, then walk 12 more minutes.
  • Walk for 5 minutes, rest for 3 minutes, then walk 5 more minutes.

 

C. Meditation

Take some time at the end of the day to tune into any stress you might be carrying in your body. Sit quietly and take ten deep breaths. With each breath, identify areas of stress and tension and try to release the tension with your exhale. Conclude this meditation with the Neck and Shoulder Release Practice.

 

Week 4, Day 2

A. Upright Exercises

Do all the following exercises with as little pause between them as is comfortable.

  • Broomstick Good Morning x 12: Hold a broomstick or PVC pipe behind your neck and across the shoulders. Inhale and as you exhale, slowly hinge from the hips and keep your upper body parallel to the floor. Keep a soft bend in your knees when you do this exercise.
  • Leg Raises x 20/side: Hold on to the wall or other support as you gently raise your right leg to the side, then lower. Repeat 10 times, then do the same on the left leg. Focus on extending through the spine and activating your deep core muscles.
  • Leg Circles x 25/side: Moving back to the right leg, raise your leg about 5 inches off the ground and make 10 small circles in a clockwise motion. Rest if needed, then continue in a counterclockwise direction. Repeat on the left side.
  • Pelvic Rocking x 1 minute: Place your palms on your thighs and do gentle pelvic tilts for one minute, resting as needed.

 

B. Walking

  • Walk for 15 minutes, rest for 5 minutes, then walk 15 more minutes.
  • Walk for 5 minutes, rest for 3 minutes, then walk 5 more minutes.

 

C. Meditation

Chakra Meditation: Muladhara Root Chakra

 

Week 4, Day 3

A. Upright Exercises

Do all the following exercises with as little pause between them as is comfortable.

  • Broomstick Good Morning x 15: Hold a broomstick or PVC pipe behind your neck and across the shoulders. Inhale and as you exhale, slowly hinge from the hips and keep your upper body parallel to the floor. Keep a soft bend in your knees when you do this exercise.
  • Leg Raises x 25/side: Hold on to the wall or other support as you gently raise your right leg to the side, then lower. Repeat 10 times, then do the same on the left leg. Focus on extending through the spine and activating your deep core muscles.
  • Leg Circles x 25/side: Moving back to the right leg, raise your leg about 5 inches off the ground and make 10 small circles in a clockwise motion. Rest if needed, then continue in a counterclockwise direction. Repeat on the left side.
  • Pelvic Rocking x 1 minute: Place your palms on your thighs and do gentle pelvic tilts for one minute, resting as needed.

 

B. Walking

  • Walk for 15 minutes, rest for 3 minutes, then walk 15 more minutes.
  • Walk for 5 minutes, rest for 2 minutes, then walk 5 more minutes.

 

C. Meditation

Use the Broaden Your Horizons Meditation to reflect on your new role as a mother.

 

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you're in.

 

 

Week 5, Day 1

Phase 3: Walking Focus 1
During this phase you will begin walking with baby in the stroller, assuming you have your doctor's appproval. If not, walk without the stroller. Take it slow and rest as needed. Meditation exercises focus on energizing stagnant energy and revitalizing your core.

 

A. Upright Exercises

Do all the following exercises with as little pause between them as is comfortable.

 

2 Rounds:

  • Broomstick Good Morning x 15: Hold a broomstick or PVC pipe behind your neck and across the shoulders. Inhale and as you exhale, slowly hinge from the hips and keep your upper body parallel to the floor. Keep a soft bend in your knees when you do this exercise.
  • Leg Raises x 25/side: Hold on to the wall or other support as you gently raise your right leg to the side, then lower. Repeat 10 times, then do the same on the left leg. Focus on extending through the spine and activating your deep core muscles.
  • Leg Circles x 25/side: Moving back to the right leg, raise your leg about 5 inches off the ground and make 10 small circles in a clockwise motion. Rest if needed, then continue in a counterclockwise direction. Repeat on the left side.
  • Bridge x 10: Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Gently raise your hips toward the ceiling, then lower. Keep your hands at your sides, palms facing down, and use them to provide support.
  • Pelvic Rocking x 1 minute: Place your palms on your thighs and do gentle pelvic tilts for one minute, resting as needed.

 

B. Walking

Walk for 15 minutes with baby in the stroller. Rest as needed and maintain a comfortable pace.

 

C. Meditation

Use this exercise from Shakta Kaur Khalsa's book Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful to energize your spine:

 

  • Sit in Easy Pose on the floor, holding your ankles and breathing deeply for five deep breaths.
  • Flex your spine forward and lift your chest up as you inhale and expand through your ribcage.
  • Exhale and flex your spine backwards. Keep your head level.
  • Repeat this movement for three minutes.

 

Week 5, Day 2

A. Upright Exercises

Do all the following exercises with as little pause between them as is comfortable.

 

2 Rounds:

  • Broomstick Good Morning x 15: Hold a broomstick or PVC pipe behind your neck and across the shoulders. Inhale and as you exhale, slowly hinge from the hips and keep your upper body parallel to the floor. Keep a soft bend in your knees when you do this exercise.
  • Leg Circles x 25/side: Moving back to the right leg, raise your leg about 5 inches off the ground and make 10 small circles in a clockwise motion. Rest if needed, then continue in a counterclockwise direction. Repeat on the left side.
  • Bridge x 10: Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Gently raise your hips toward the ceiling, then lower. Keep your hands at your sides, palms facing down, and use them to provide support.
  • Downward Dog x 30 seconds: Come into Downward Dog and hold this pose for 30 seconds, breathing deeply throughout. Rest in Child's Pose if you need to break this into smaller increments.
  • Pelvic Rocking x 1 minute: Place your palms on your thighs and do gentle pelvic tilts for one minute, resting as needed.

 

B. Walking

Walk for 20 minutes with baby in the stroller. Rest as needed and maintain a comfortable pace.

 

C. Meditation

Take 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening to calm your mind with a Wave Flow Meditation.

 

Week 5, Day 3

A. Upright Exercises

Do all the following exercises with as little pause between them as is comfortable.

2 Rounds:

  • Broomstick Good Morning x 20: Hold a broomstick or PVC pipe behind your neck and across the shoulders. Inhale and as you exhale, slowly hinge from the hips and keep your upper body parallel to the floor. Keep a soft bend in your knees when you do this exercise.
  • Leg Circles x 25/side: Moving back to the right leg, raise your leg about 5 inches off the ground and make 10 small circles in a clockwise motion. Rest if needed, then continue in a counterclockwise direction. Repeat on the left side.
  • Bridge x 15: Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Gently raise your hips toward the ceiling, then lower. Keep your hands at your sides, palms facing down, and use them to provide support.
  • Downward Dog x 45 seconds: Come into Downward Dog and hold this pose for 30 seconds, breathing deeply throughout. Rest in Child's Pose if you need to break this into smaller increments.
  • Pelvic Rocking x 1 minute: Place your palms on your thighs and do gentle pelvic tilts for one minute, resting as needed.

 

B. Walking

Walk for 25 minutes with baby in the stroller. Rest as needed and maintain a comfortable pace.

 

C. Meditation

Sit in Easy Pose for 5 deep breaths. Come into Hero's Pose by moving onto your knees and relax until your feet are slightly wider than hip width, with your knees together. Take 10 deep breaths and meditate on the progress you have made in these last five weeks. What struggles have you overcome? Focus on the positive steps you've taken as a new mother and toward recovering from birth.

 

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you're in.

 

 

Week 6, Day 1

Phase 3: Walking Focus 1
During this phase you will begin walking with baby in the stroller, assuming you have your doctor's appproval. If not, walk without the stroller. Take it slow and rest as needed. Meditation exercises focus on energizing stagnant energy and revitalizing your core.

 

A. Upright Exercises

Do all the following exercises with as little pause between them as is comfortable.

3 Rounds:

  • Broomstick Good Morning x 20: Hold a broomstick or PVC pipe behind your neck and across the shoulders. Inhale and as you exhale, slowly hinge from the hips and keep your upper body parallel to the floor. Keep a soft bend in your knees when you do this exercise.
  • Leg Raises x 20 Hold on to the wall or other support as you gently raise your right leg to the side, then lower. Repeat 10 times, then do the same on the left leg. Focus on extending through the spine and activating your deep core muscles.
  • Leg Circles x 15/side: Moving back to the right leg, raise your leg about 5 inches off the ground and make 10 small circles in a clockwise motion. Rest if needed, then continue in a counterclockwise direction. Repeat on the left side.
  • Bridge x 10: Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Gently raise your hips toward the ceiling, then lower. Keep your hands at your sides, palms facing down, and use them to provide support.
  • Modified Bird/Dog x 5/side: Place a stability ball against a wall. Come onto your hands and knees and lean back into the stability ball. Raise your right arm for 10 seconds, then lower. Repeat on the left side.

 

B. Walking

Walk for 25 minutes with baby in the stroller. Rest as needed and maintain a comfortable pace.

 

C. Meditation

As a new mom it can be difficult to focus on the present moment. It's easy to get caught up in anxiety about the future or the many things on the daily to do list. Take 10 minutes and stand in Mountain Pose. Breathe deeply and allow your mind to be still as you count 10 breaths. When thoughts or anxieties about the future enter your mind, exhale and start again from 1.

 

Week 6, Day 2

A. Upright Exercises

Do all the following exercises with as little pause between them as is comfortable.

3 Rounds:

  • Broomstick Good Morning x 20: Hold a broomstick or PVC pipe behind your neck and across the shoulders. Inhale and as you exhale, slowly hinge from the hips and keep your upper body parallel to the floor. Keep a soft
  • bend in your knees when you do this exercise.
  • Leg Raises x 20 Hold on to the wall or other support as you gently raise your right leg to the side, then lower. Repeat 10 times, then do the same on the left leg. Focus on extending through the spine and activating your deep core muscles.
  • Leg Circles x 15/side: Moving back to the right leg, raise your leg about 5 inches off the ground and make 10 small circles in a clockwise motion. Rest if needed, then continue in a counterclockwise direction. Repeat on the left side.
  • Bridge x 10: Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Gently raise your hips toward the ceiling, then lower. Keep your hands at your sides, palms facing down, and use them to provide support.
  • Modified Bird/Dog x 5/side: Place a stability ball against a wall. Come onto your hands and knees and lean back into the stability ball. Raise your right arm for 10 seconds, then lower. Repeat on the left side.

 

B. Walking

Walk for 25 minutes with baby in the stroller. Rest as needed and maintain a comfortable pace.

 

C. Meditation

Before bed, set aside 10 minutes for a letting go meditation. Although a newborn can keep you awake at night, so can your own thoughts about what you didn't accomplish that day. Make a list of all the things you were unable to finish by the end of the day. Once you have a list, breathe deeply as you think about each item, one at a time. Just like you breathe through pain, breathe through each thought and let go of any anxiety you have about each item. When your mind feels free and unburdened, sit back in Child's Pose for 10 deep breaths before you go to bed.

 

Week 6, Day 3

A. Upright Exercises

Do all the following exercises with as little pause between them as is comfortable.

3 Rounds:

  • Broomstick Good Morning x 20: Hold a broomstick or PVC pipe behind your neck and across the shoulders. Inhale and as you exhale, slowly hinge from the hips and keep your upper body parallel to the floor. Keep a soft
  • bend in your knees when you do this exercise.
  • Leg Raises x 20 Hold on to the wall or other support as you gently raise your right leg to the side, then lower. Repeat 10 times, then do the same on the left leg. Focus on extending through the spine and activating your deep core muscles.
  • Leg Circles x 15/side: Moving back to the right leg, raise your leg about 5 inches off the ground and make 10 small circles in a clockwise motion. Rest if needed, then continue in a counterclockwise direction. Repeat on the left side.
  • Bridge x 10: Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Gently raise your hips toward the ceiling, then lower. Keep your hands at your sides, palms facing down, and use them to provide support.
  • Modified Bird/Dog x 5/side: Place a stability ball against a wall. Come onto your hands and knees and lean back into the stability ball. Raise your right arm for 10 seconds, then lower. Repeat on the left side.

 

B. Walking

Walk for 30 minutes with baby in the stroller. Rest as needed and maintain a comfortable pace.

 

C. Meditation

As stressful and demanding as it can be, motherhood should be a source of joy. Focus on fostering on joy in your life with the Creating Joy Meditation.

 

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you're in.

 

 

Phase 4: Week 7, Day 1

Phase 4: This two-week phase concludes the restorative cycle with longer walks, energizing meditations, and exercises to build endurance and stability.

 

2 Rounds:

 

  • Broomstick Good Morning x 20: Hold a broomstick or PVC pipe behind your neck and across the shoulders. Inhale and as you exhale, slowly hinge from the hips and keep your upper body parallel to the floor. Keep a soft bend in your knees when you do this exercise.
  • Leg Raises x 20: Hold on to the wall or other support as you gently raise your right leg to the side, then lower. Repeat 10 times, then do the same on the left leg. Focus on extending through the spine and activating your deep core muscles.
  • Bridge w/knee to chest x 10: Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Gently raise your hips toward the ceiling, then lower. Keep your hands at your sides, palms facing down, and use them to provide support. If you feel ready, draw your right leg into your chest when you raise your hips, and lower with your hips. Repeat with the left side.
  • Modified Bird/Dog x 5/side: Place a stability ball against a wall. Come onto your hands and knees and lean back into the stability ball. Raise your right arm for 10 seconds, then lower. Repeat on the left side.
  • Wall Plank Hold x 30 seconds
  • Downward Dog x 30 seconds

 

B. Walking

Walk for 45 minutes with baby in the stroller. Rest as needed and maintain a comfortable pace. You can break this long walk into two sessions if necessary.

 

C. Meditation

Start your morning by setting an intention. Sit in a wide-legged straddle position, holding your spine erect. Extend your arms out to your sides for 10 deep breaths. As you inhale and exhale, set an intention for your day. It doesn't have to be detailed and specific - instead, focus on a more general goal like maintaining a positive state of mind or accepting help from others. Hold your intention in mind throughout your day.

 

Week 7, Day 2

hase 4, Week 7, Day 2

2 Rounds:

  • Broomstick Good Morning x 20: Hold a broomstick or PVC pipe behind your neck and across the shoulders. Inhale and as you exhale, slowly hinge from the hips and keep your upper body parallel to the floor. Keep a soft bend in your knees when you do this exercise.
  • Leg Raises x 20: Hold on to the wall or other support as you gently raise your right leg to the side, then lower. Repeat 10 times, then do the same on the left leg. Focus on extending through the spine and activating your deep core muscles.
  • Bridge w/knee to chest x 10: Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Gently raise your hips toward the ceiling, then lower. Keep your hands at your sides, palms facing down, and use them to provide support. If you feel ready, draw your right leg into your chest when you raise your hips, and lower with your hips. Repeat with the left side.
  • Modified Bird/Dog x 5/side: Place a stability ball against a wall. Come onto your hands and knees and lean back into the stability ball. Raise your right arm for 10 seconds, then lower. Repeat on the left side.
  • Wall Plank Hold x 30 seconds
  • Downward Dog x 30 seconds
  •  

B. Walking

Walk for 45 minutes with baby in the stroller. Rest as needed and maintain a comfortable pace. You can break this long walk into two sessions if necessary.

 

C. Meditation

Start your day with the Sahasrara Chakra Meditation.

 

Week 7, Day 3

2 Rounds:

  • Broomstick Good Morning x 20: Hold a broomstick or PVC pipe behind your neck and across the shoulders. Inhale and as you exhale, slowly hinge from the hips and keep your upper body parallel to the floor. Keep a soft bend in your knees when you do this exercise.
  • Leg Raises x 20: Hold on to the wall or other support as you gently raise your right leg to the side, then lower. Repeat 10 times, then do the same on the left leg. Focus on extending through the spine and activating your deep core muscles.
  • Bridge w/knee to chest x 15: Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Gently raise your hips toward the ceiling, then lower. Keep your hands at your sides, palms facing down, and use them to provide support. If you feel ready, draw your right leg into your chest when you raise your hips, and lower with your hips. Repeat with the left side.
  • Modified Bird/Dog x 10/side: Place a stability ball against a wall. Come onto your hands and knees and lean back into the stability ball. Raise your right arm for 10 seconds, then lower. Repeat on the left side.
  • Wall Plank Hold x 30 seconds
  • Downward Dog x 30 seconds

 

B. Walking

Walk for 50 minutes with baby in the stroller. Rest as needed and maintain a comfortable pace. You can break this long walk into two sessions if necessary.

 

C. Meditation

Take some time to relieve tension with the Child's Pose Slow Flow

 

Click on the number below that corresponds to the week of training you're in.

 

 

Phase 4: Week 8, Day 1

Phase 4: This two-week phase concludes the restorative cycle with longer walks, energizing meditations, and exercises to build endurance and stability.

 

3 Rounds:

  • Broomstick Good Morning x 20: Hold a broomstick or PVC pipe behind your neck and across the shoulders. Inhale and as you exhale, slowly hinge from the hips and keep your upper body parallel to the floor. Keep a soft bend in your knees when you do this exercise.
  • Leg Raises x 20: Hold on to the wall or other support as you gently raise your right leg to the side, then lower. Repeat 10 times, then do the same on the left leg. Focus on extending through the spine and activating your deep core muscles.
  • Bridge w/knee to chest x 15: Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Gently raise your hips toward the ceiling, then lower. Keep your hands at your sides, palms facing down, and use them to provide support. If you feel ready, draw your right leg into your chest when you raise your hips, and lower with your hips. Repeat with the left side.
  • Modified Bird/Dog x 10/side: Place a stability ball against a wall. Come onto your hands and knees and lean back into the stability ball. Raise your right arm for 10 seconds, then lower. Repeat on the left side.
  • Wall Plank Hold x 45 seconds
  • Downward Dog x 45 seconds

 

B. Walking

Walk for 50 minutes with baby in the stroller. Rest as needed and maintain a comfortable pace. You can break this long walk into two sessions if necessary.

 

C. Meditation

Sit in Easy Pose for 5 deep breaths. Extend your arms out to your sides and exhale deeply to let go of stress. Gently bring your fingers together and point out to each side as you breathe deeply for 5 more breaths. With each inhale, stretch your arms further and imagine yourself creating space around you for energy.

 

Week 8, Day 2

3 Rounds:

  • Broomstick Good Morning x 20: Hold a broomstick or PVC pipe behind your neck and across the shoulders. Inhale and as you exhale, slowly hinge from the hips and keep your upper body parallel to the floor. Keep a soft bend in your knees when you do this exercise.
  • Leg Raises x 20: Hold on to the wall or other support as you gently raise your right leg to the side, then lower. Repeat 10 times, then do the same on the left leg. Focus on extending through the spine and activating your deep core muscles.
  • Bridge w/knee to chest x 15: Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Gently raise your hips toward the ceiling, then lower. Keep your hands at your sides, palms facing down, and use them to provide support. If you feel ready, draw your right leg into your chest when you raise your hips, and lower with your hips. Repeat with the left side.
  • Modified Bird/Dog x 10/side: Place a stability ball against a wall. Come onto your hands and knees and lean back into the stability ball. Raise your right arm for 10 seconds, then lower. Repeat on the left side.
  • Wall Plank Hold x 45 seconds
  • Downward Dog x 45 seconds

 

B. Walking

Walk for one hour with baby in the stroller. Rest as needed and maintain a comfortable pace. You can break this long walk into two sessions if necessary.

 

C. Meditation

Bring balance to the fourth chakra with the Anahata Heart Center Chakra Meditation.

 

Week 8, Day 3

3 Rounds:

  • Broomstick Good Morning x 20: Hold a broomstick or PVC pipe behind your neck and across the shoulders. Inhale and as you exhale, slowly hinge from the hips and keep your upper body parallel to the floor. Keep a soft bend in your knees when you do this exercise.
  • Leg Raises x 20: Hold on to the wall or other support as you gently raise your right leg to the side, then lower. Repeat 10 times, then do the same on the left leg. Focus on extending through the spine and activating your deep core muscles.
  • Bridge w/knee to chest x 15: Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Gently raise your hips toward the ceiling, then lower. Keep your hands at your sides, palms facing down, and use them to provide support. If you feel ready, draw your right leg into your chest when you raise your hips, and lower with your hips. Repeat with the left side.
  • Modified Bird/Dog x 10/side: Place a stability ball against a wall. Come onto your hands and knees and lean back into the stability ball. Raise your right arm for 10 seconds, then lower. Repeat on the left side.
  • Wall Plank Hold x 45 seconds
  • Downward Dog x 45 seconds

 

B. Walking

Walk for one hour with baby in the stroller. Rest as needed and maintain a comfortable pace. You can break this long walk into two sessions if necessary.

 

C. Meditation

Sit in Easy Pose for 5 deep breaths. Come into Hero's Pose by moving onto your knees and relax until your feet are slightly wider than hip width, with your knees together. Take 10 deep breaths and meditate on the progress you have made in these last eight weeks. What struggles have you overcome? Focus on the positive steps you've taken as a new mother and toward recovering from birth.

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