The Best Postnatal Pose

It may seem hyperbolic to label a pose "the best," but in this case it fits. Bridge pose confers strength-building and hip stabilizing post-baby. You get to do it lying down (a major pro!), and you don't even need a mat—carpeted floor works fine. As you know first-hand, your body does some pretty crazy things when you're pregnant. The mass production of the hormone relaxin falls into that category. Relaxin does exactly what it sounds like it does: it relaxes your connective tissue, so your joints are a little looser and your hips aren't cinched together quite as tightly. This is perfect for the weight-bearing requirement of pregnancy: wider hips help you balance all the extra weight.

Postnatally, relaxin continues to flow, especially if you breastfeed—and it can stick around for months after you wean. Part of your recovery journey is waiting out the effects of relaxin. But adding strengthening movements for your hips can help! Bridge pose is simple, challenging, and quick—it really is the best place to begin. When your doctor or midwife approves postpartum movement and exercise, you can start with the mellower variation offered here and then continue to add challenge over time. (You don't need to do much. Aim to play with this pose and variations a couple of times a week for 5-10 minutes at most.)

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