After having my second baby I wanted to do a class with him, that A) I would enjoy and B) would provide valuable time for me to bond with him. Lots of my local clients had told me about Tessa’s mother and baby yoga classes, so I went along. They were exactly what I was looking for, plus the sense of community and cake were lovely added benefits! And going to those classes has become one of my fondest memories during those early months.
I now work with Tessa offering workshops antenatally Active hypnobirth workshop, so I asked her to talk to me a bit more about her mum and baby yoga classes…
Five reasons to try mother & baby Yoga (and why I love teaching postnatal classes)
1. The class provides special bonding time with your baby, away from the demands of home.
When my two girls were little I loved to get out of the house because I could concentrate on my baby without being distracted by the piles of laundry sitting there waiting for me.
During classes we do lots of singing with the babies, getting right down to their level to
nuzzle their tummies and kiss them. It’s so gorgeous to see the mums and babies having so much fun together. I love hearing the real belly laughs that the five month olds, and upwards make.
2. Mums get to do something for themselves WITH their baby.
There are actually very few places where you can do that! Gradually as the weeks go on, you get to do more and more exercises. The classes teach you how to exercise safely postnatally, when your ligaments may still be affected by hormones (from breastfeeding).
They also provide mental space to relax in your busy life as a mum, while with your little one. It reminds you need to look after yourselves if you’re going to keep giving to your family. I enjoy seeing mums taking some really deep breaths and letting go, even if only for a few minutes.
3. We use different holds with the babies in class, like the ‘Tiger in the Tree’, otherwise known as the ‘Colic hold’.
We also play with baby in different positions. For example as they get older we do the
‘Flying saucer song’ where they lie on our lower legs and ‘fly’ from side to side, which provides an alternative for tummy time (my first daughter hated tummy time!).
Mums become really confident in how to handle their babies and ways to play with them. One of my mums, Laura said: “I took a lot of these home with me as they taught me different ways to hold and play with my son. The first time he laughed was from flying him about on my legs!”
4. There is a special atmosphere in the class where the mums are totally supportive of each other.
There’s a lovely honesty and they tell it how it is: they talk about the good days and the not-so-good or totally overwhelming days.
The classes then become a weekly sanctuary where you don’t need to pretend to be a ‘good mother’, but can share however your week has been. This is priceless while new mums
are finding their feet, deciding how they want to parent and learning to trust their instincts.
It’s also valuable for mums at any stage, including when baby starts solids (and gets constipated), or they start settling-in sessions (and LO won’t drink) or to celebrate the
first roll or clap.
5. The cakes and biscuits!
I always bring homemade biscuits, cakes or energy balls to the classes and make sure the mums get a HOT cup of tea. When I went to mother and baby yoga with my second daughter this was one of the highlights for me. A teacher willing to have a cuddle while I went leisurely to the toilet, and time to drink my tea before it got cold. Bliss!
The social part at the end is full of shared experiences and practical tips, and provides a sense that you’re not doing this alone. I would say that my mother and baby classes aren’t
just a class, they’re a community.
Tessa teaches Pregnancy and Mother & Baby Yoga in Caversham, and created
the Mother & Baby Yoga DVD for home use: www.tessayoga.co.uk/findoutmore