Feel the Stretch

A gentle stretching routine can help you reconnect with your hardworking body and ease tensions common to motherhood.

OHbaby! fitness expert Renee Vincent explains how.

During pregnancy, your posture and movement altered completely. And after birth, they changed again. Your new role as a mum may be exciting, and you may nd plenty of joy in caring for your new baby, but you’ll probably also and that your new ‘job’ is very physically demanding.

Mothers perform physical tasks for long hours every day, with little time for self-care and less sleep and rest than ideal, so it is common for mothers to experience pain in their bodies while their children are young.

Repeated postures can cause some areas of the body to tighten and shorten, and others to lengthen, leading to uneven alignment over time. When breastfeeding, for example, you may spend long periods of time sitting with your upper back bent, head down and arms rounded as you cradle and feed your baby.

This means that the muscles in your neck, upper back and shoulders are working continuously for the length of the feed, which can leave them feeling tight and eventually painful.

Obviously mothers carry their babies repeatedly too, either up on one shoulder or on one hip. Even pushing a stroller requires continuous holding of the handlebar and pushing through the arm, signi cantly changing your normal walking posture.

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