You have probably heard of the the 3 Rs that benefit labour: Rhythm, Relaxation, and Ritual. Like all things in life; however, practice makes better! So how can you incorporate the 3 Rs into your life? And how can this help postpartum? Mindful and sustainable movement!
Mindful and sustainable movement can be anything you want it to be - as long as it's done in an intentional and deliberate way. It can be a long walk (at the beach, in the park, in your neighbourhood). It can be yoga, Pilates, spinning, body conditioning, swimming, playing sports, and so on. You can do it at home, in the park, at your community centre, at the gym, or at a studio. You can customise any movement for your perinatal journey based on your experience, preference, and ability!
HOW YOU MOVE
How you move matters. If you are pregnant or recently postpartum and you're planning on taking a class or following an online movement video it's important to find an instructor with prenatal and/or postpartum training (depending on what they teach).
Prenatally, this training should go beyond "there's a belly in the way so we don't do as wide a variety of exercises". A pregnant person's body undergoes a tremendous amount of change, both internally and externally. Classes should be based on mindful movement specifically designed for this and enriched to take into account these changes. Postpartum, the training should take into account the changes in a postpartum body, including the potential effects pregnancy and birth may have had.
Movement is so important both prenatally and postpartum - not only because it helps ingrain the Rs into our bodies and consciousness but also because it makes us happy. Some types of movement make us happier than others, so move however you can and like, but do move!
WHERE YOU MOVE
It may not seem like it - but where you move is important, beyond the instructor's expertise and proximity to your home or work. Is it a safe space - do you feel safe, acknowledged, represented, and included? Is it a community you can and want to be part of? Is the space accessible and accommodating? Moving however you like is important and so is moving where you like!
There are several places in Toronto that offer prenatal and postpartum movement classes (maybe you already have your favourite!). Stay tuned for our next blog posts where we feature some of Toronto's studios offering prenatal and postpartum movement classes!
Spectrum Doula Collective