Your Cart

Your Cart is Empty
  • Subtotal
  • Total (before taxes)
5 Simple Stretches for Postpartum
March 30, 2017 2:00 pm | by

You welcomed your little baby into the world. Breastfeeding is established, and you are now learning what it is like to have a bundle of joy in your arms…and then your back starts to hurt…or your arms are sore. Hey, it happens and is all part of the changing postpartum body.

Simple stretching is a great way to combat some of these new changes without overdoing it. Add them in your day whenever you can! Many of these you can do while holding baby. Don’t worry about how long to hold them, you can aim for 30-60 seconds but even 15 seconds is helpful.

1) Neck and Shoulder Stretch

This is amazing for your neck and shoulders from holding and feeding babies (dads too!).
To do this stretch, push your chin back…like you are making a double chin…and tilt your head to one side. If holding baby, you will tilt your head towards baby. Then extend the opposite arm out to the side about. Raise and lower until you feel that stretch in the area that best serves you. You can even move it forward or back to change the load and get a well rounded stretch.
Repeat on other side.

A variation of a shoulder stretch for postpartum tension.

2) Door Stretch

This one is for whenever you walk through a door or door frame and can be adjusted on your height and muscle length.
When you walk through a door, raise on arm and hold on to the top of the door frame. Make sure you are lowering your shoulder and not thrusting your chest out.

Loosen tight chest muscles with a simple stretch.
If you aren’t tall enough, place your forearm on the side and take a small step forward.
Repeat on other side.

Calf stretch for cramped legs and achy feet.

3) Calf Stretch

Oh how I love this stretch. If you don’t have a half dome (pictured) use a rolled up towel or yoga mat.
Place the ball of your foot on the top of the dome and drop your heel to the floor. Bring the other foot next to it or even slightly behind.
Repeat on other side.

Lower back and hip stretch - simple but effective!

4) Piriformis Stretch or Number 4

A tight piriformis is often a cause of sciatica pain…which strikes a lot of pregnant women and can carry into postpartum life. This is a fantastic stretch for that. This can be done seated or standing but for postpartum, it might be easier if you are seated.

A piriformis stretch can be done seated or standing.

Start by sitting upright with your legs hip distance apart. Bring one leg up and cross it over, almost to ankle on knee. Flex foot to protect knee and slightly lean forward. Your piriformis run up your hip to the behind.
Repeat on other side.

Back and shoulder stretch for postpartum wellness.

5) Shoulder, Chest, and Upper Back Stretch

Holding baby will really do a number on your upper body. After years of carrying baby my right should sat higher than my left!
For this one you will need a chair, table, or counter. Stand about 3 feet back with feet hips width apart. Bend over, placing your hands (shoulder width apart) on the table. Relax your head but DON’T drop your chest. See photos for reference.

Keep your core stable during your stretch.

For a tad different stretch, place one hand over the other and lean the opposite way, creating a diagonal line.  As I mentioned early, there is no set time you need to hold each stretch for but you can aim for 30-60 seconds.

A variation on the stretch to work additional sets of muscles.

Do these stretches as a set or individually throughout the day. I enjoy the calf stretch when working at the counter in the kitchen.

Please remember to take care of yourself! Eat good food and rest. You are amazing.

About the Author

Jacki May is a mama to four beautiful girls, wife, and herbalist. She enjoys her time unschooling with her children, getting outside, knitting, and spinning wool. She has been a natural living advocate for almost a decade and enjoys her minimal, yet very bohemian, lifestyle. You can find her blogging on herbal medicine on her website Patchouli Herbs & Apothecary and about her chasing a hippie lifestyle on Raven & Oak.


Comments are closed here.