How to relax after giving birth – 3 powerful practices

At some point during my pregnancy I had started worrying that my baby’s arrival would put me in survival mode. I thought it would take all of my energy to take care of him. I feared that I would lose myself, that my beloved inner world would fade away for a while. But then it occurred to me that it didn’t have to be that way. I liked that thought so I stuck with it.

I was happy to discover that his birth came with inspiration to improve and beautify my in-the-moment experience. My inner world lit up like fireworks. 

At the right time, the right thoughts occurred to me and sweetened the “here and now” experiences of things I had chosen to… not think of as difficult.

  1. Soothing pain – Finding the good feeling spot

After birth there was pain. But then again, there were parts of my body that felt fine. So I would lie in bed deliberately focusing on each good feeling spot and reinforcing the feeling in my thoughts: “The top of my head is relaxed. My chest is delightfully comfortable. The palms of my hands feel great.” I would try to find as many good feeling spots as I could until, you know what? I didn’t really feel pain anymore…

  1. Cultivating calm – I have this relaxing breath

As someone who has experienced with meditation, dance and Yoga, I am quite aware of sensations in my body. When my body speaks, I usually hear it loud and clear. At the beginning, when I would hear my baby starting to cry, I would feel my abdomen tense up and my breath being interrupted – basic body language for stress. Ah, those moments when you just lay in bed hoping to relax a little bit and the baby starts crying (again)… So in the seconds that it took me to pick the baby up, I would breathe deeply and acknowledge each breath, saying to myself “I have this relaxing breath and I am enjoying it.” And my body stopped tensing up after a few such exercises. But, more importantly and to my great delight, the baby seemed to become calmer too! 

  1. Regaining physical comfort – Pleasure in movement

I love to move. I do. I love it deeply. And I had some (ok, a lot) of resistance to the physical limitations of pregnancy. Well, the limitations in the first days after giving birth were far greater than those of pregnancy. But, as much as my movements were restricted, I decided I could still get a rush of endorphins from whatever movements I could make. In the peaceful atmosphere of the hospital room, I played beautiful soft music and slowly, mindfully, in the rhythm of the music rotated every joint in my body that I could move without waking up the pain and savoured every move. And a rush of endorphins I did get! 

I had the choice to focus on and enjoy the gradual improvement in my life in the days that followed my stay in the hospital, especially in regards to my physical well-being. So instead of it being all about what I could not yet do, it was mostly about “Hey, today I can do this thing that I couldn’t do yesterday!” I seem to be wired to enjoy myself and I love it when I get new ideas on how to do that. May the arrival of your babies bring fresh inspiration for happiness!

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