One of the most common physical complaints I hear from students in class is that they have pain down the back of one or both of their legs. Sciatica is a common discomfort associated with pregnancy and there are several great yoga poses you can do to relieve the pain.
First, it helps to understand what causes Sciatica during pregnancy. Usually, it is because of swelling of and around the the piriformis muscle. In simple terms, the Piriforis muscle starts at the Sacrum, goes through the muscle of your butt/pelvis and then connects to the top of your femur or thigh bone. During pregnancy, as your body begins to create more fluid and everything in the pelvic area begins to swell, the piriformis muscle can tighten and put pressure on the Sciatic nerve. This pressure on the nerve can cause pain, numbness and tingling down the leg.
So, by stretching the piriformis muscle, you can alleviate the pressure on the nerve and help to relieve your symptoms.
Begin on all fours, with your knees directly below your hips, and your hands slightly ahead of your shoulders. Slide your right knee forward to the back of your right wrist; at the same time angle your right shin under your torso and bring your right foot to the front of your left knee. The outside of your right shin will now rest on the floor. Slowly slide your left leg back, straightening the knee and descending the front of the thigh to the floor. Lower the outside of your right buttock to the floor. Position the right heel just in front of the left hip.
The right knee can angle slightly to the right, outside the line of the hip. Look back at your left leg. It should extend straight out of the hip (and not be angled off to the left), and rotated slightly inwardly, so its midline presses against the floor.
Building up a stash of frozen breastmilk for your upcoming return-to-work can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be!
Your body makes the most milk in the mornings, so take advantage of that when building your freezer stash. After your first feeding of the day, watch the clock and pump at the halfway mark between your first and second feeding.
For example, if your baby generally nurses every 3 hours:
- Breastfeed at 6:00 am when s/he wakes
- Pump at 7:30am
- Breastfeed at 9:00 am
By pumping in the morning when your milk is most abundant, you will still have enough for your next feeding.
If your baby generally nurses every 2 hours:
- Breastfeed at 6:00 am when s/he wakes
- Pump at 7:00am
- Breastfeed at 8:00 am
Pump both sides for no more than 10 minutes or so and freeze whatever you get in 2-4 ounce containers. Label with the date and amount.
You might not produce much the first day or two, but if you stick to this schedule every day, soon your body will adjust and you will notice a big increase in the amount you pump.
Remember the 5-5-5 rule: breastmilk stays fresh for 5 hours at room temperature, 5 days in the fridge and 5 months in your freezer.
Darcy Sauers is a Certified Lactation Counselor and provides private, in-home lactation counseling to new moms in the Seacoast area. In addition to her extensive training, she breastfed her three babies and experienced all sorts of issues, problems and joys. She is now committed to helping new moms with meeting their breastfeeding goals.
Yoga Birth Method – Use Yoga During Labor
Benefits of the Yoga Birth Method:
- Faster labor progression as the yoga poses encourage the baby’s movement into the birth canal
- Learn to remain focused and in control of your birth experience in a positive manner
- A deep mother-baby connection as they work together during labor
- Birth partners learn specific techniques to physically and emotionally assist the woman during labor
Workshops are offered bi-monthly at ChildLight Yoga Studio in downtown, Dover, NH. Darcy Sauers is one of the only certified Yoga Birth Method instructors in the New England area. Contact her with any questions at 603-988-5945.
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. And typically, after our big, elaborate weddings we take a fantastic, relaxing, expensive honeymoon that is focused on bonding and having fun with our new partner.
The birth day of your baby is also one of the most important days of your life. Yet, typically afterwards, we are sent home in a whirlwind of questions. Instead of bonding and having fun with our new baby, we find ourselves surviving on granola bars, not showering and sometimes crying for no reason.
Why? Why? Why?
Why is there such a disparity between the way we celebrate these two major life events? I don’t know – that’s the topic of a separate blog.
One study showed that in the last 3 months leading up to their wedding, brides spent an average of 11 hours a week working on wedding details. Devote some time to planning your Babymoon.
Here’s my top 5 tips for taking a Babymoon and how hiring a postpartum doula can help.
- Sleep. Did you sleep in every morning on your honeymoon? Take a nap before going out to dinner? Sleep is of the utmost importance on your Babymoon. A new baby needs to eat every 2-3 hours around the clock. The sleep deprivation that comes along with a new baby can really take a toll on your mood and your health. And this is not one or two nights of bad sleep, this is a long haul! It’s really important to “sleep when the baby sleeps” throughout the day. Nap whenever possible. A postpartum doula can watch the baby while you nap during the day. You can also hire an overnight postpartum doula to help you get the most sleep possible at night. Postpartum doulas can also educate you about newborn sleep patterns and help you maximize the sleep you and your newborn are getting.
- Pamper yourself. Did you have a massage before or after your wedding? A pedicure? Treat yourself to some pampering and self-care. Whether it’s hiring a massage therapist to come to your home or just taking a really long hot bath with some candles and the door closed. A little self-care goes a long way for a mom. A postpartum doula will care for the baby while you take some time for yourself to nap, shower or whatever it is that makes you feel better!
- No guests allowed. How many people did you invite to come with you on your honeymoon? In the first few days home on your baby moon, just let it be the three of you. Naked in bed. Focus on breastfeeding, bonding and recovering from birth. Your baby will still be super cute a week or two from now and you can invite friends and family to come then. A postpartum doula often “runs interference” with family and friends, making sure that no one is overstaying their welcome.
- Good food. Was your wedding catered by a top, local chef? Were there decadent dinners and drinks on your honeymoon? Then why are you surviving on granola bars and frozen dinners in the first weeks home with your baby? Take the time to enjoy nutritious and delicious snacks and dinners. Nourish yourself so you can nourish your baby. When a friend asks, “Is there is anything I can do?” Say, “Yes, please drop off a healthy dinner.” Keep a list of healthy take out options nearby. Hire someone to stash your freezer with healthy meals. A postpartum doula will be sure to provide you with healthy snacks throughout the day and light meal preparation.
- Enjoy it. The focus of a honeymoon is to have uninterrupted time with your partner to have fun, build wonderful memories, and create a bond that will last a lifetime. Do the same with your baby! Turn off the phone, the computer and the to-do list and snuggle in with your amazing newborn. Take time to examine every cute little roll of glorious chubbiness! Notice how intently his eyes look at your face. Sing her some songs. Snuggle him on your chest and inhale that intoxicating newborn scent on the top of his head. A postpartum doula will take care of your laundry and dishes so that you can focus all your time and attention on the fun stuff!
Bonus. Don’t stress. Did you spend time on your honeymoon worrying about whether or not you were a good wife? Or did you live in the moment and enjoy long walks on the beach with the love of your life? Spend your babymoon enjoying your new baby and falling in love. Don’t waste one second worrying that you are a bad mom or that you’re doing it wrong. You’re not.
And finally, just like you did on your honeymoon, TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES! And make sure that you are IN the pictures. You may not feel as beautiful as you did on your honeymoon, but trust me, you are.
Darcy Sauers owns Dover Doula and is a certified postpartum doula and certified lactation counselor. She is the mother of three children who didn’t take the time to plan a Babymoon and really wishes that she had. She is now passionately committed to helping new moms really enjoy the first 12 weeks home with a new baby. Since 2010, she has helped close to 100 Seacoast, NH area families with their Babymoons.
Do you need a little help with breastfeeding? New moms in the Seacoast, NH area are lucky to have many ways to get breastfeeding help. My clients enjoy having personal, private breastfeeding help in the comfort of their own home. Let’s face it, it’s hard to pack a baby up and get out of the house! But, besides hiring a lactation consultant to come to your home, there are lots of great options in the Dover and Portsmouth, NH area to get together with other new moms and babies and to also have your questions answered by lactation counselors.
Breastfeeding Help Support Groups
Wentworth Douglass Hospital – Dover, NH
New Parent Support Group meets every Monday, EXCEPT for holidays, 1:30 – 3:00 pm. Facilitated by lactation consultants and child life specialists. No registration necessary.
Portsmouth Regional Hospital – Portsmouth, NH
Breastfeeding Support Group meets on Wednesdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 Noon in the Maternity Family Room.
Exeter Hospital – Exeter, NH
This group meets on Tuesdays from 11:00am – 12:30pm and provides the added support needed for the changing needs of a growing baby. This is also a time to foster mother to mother support and assistance. A lactation consultant is available during this time.
Frisbie Memorial Hospital – Rochester, NH
Mom and Baby Group held on Wednesdays from 9:30am – 11:30am.
On the Last Monday of each month, La Leche League has an evening meeting at the Coastal Family Birth Retreat in Stratham, NH. The meeting starts at 6:30pm and usually runs until 8:00pm with a half hour informal period afterwards. Coastal Family Birth Retreat is located at 13 Frying Pan Lane in Stratham. For more information, contact Traci (603) 842-4435. Fathers, partners and husbands are welcome to join us.
On the second Thursday of each month, La Leche League has a morning meeting in the nursery of the First Parish Church in Dover, NH. The meeting starts at 10:30 am and usually runs until 11:30am with a half hour informal period afterwards. The First Parish Church is located on the corner of Central Ave and Silver Street in Dover. For more information, contact Traci (603) 842-4435.
Darcy Sauers is a certified postpartum doula, certified lactation counselor and the owner of Dover Doula in the Seacoast, NH area. She is passionately committed to helping new moms find the support, resources and information that they need. Please do not hesitate to contact Darcy with any questions at email@example.com or 603-988-5945. For more information on breastfeeding, the postpartum period and local resources and events for new moms, follow her on Facebook.