Postpartum Yoga Program

Female Skeleton in Yoga Position

A joint policy statement provided by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association for the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada based on level 1-A and 1-B evidence states that pelvic floor muscle training and core stability training with a physiotherapist is recommended to prevent and treat urinary incontinence, and back and pelvic pain during pregnancy and after delivery [1].

 

Program Purpose:

The Postpartum Yoga Program is an 8-week program designed to guide new Moms towards restoring the strength and stability of the pelvis and spine through a yoga-based practice. This evidence-based program also aims to help women prevent future low back and pelvic pain, incontinence, and prolapse, by taking a healing approach to improving the postural and movement deficits that often follow pregnancy and delivery.

 

The Postpartum Yoga Program consists of education and yoga-based exercise for re-training:

–       the breath
–       the abdominals
–       posture
–       the pelvic floor
–       “the core”

core screenshot

 adapted from Diane and Linda-Joy Lee (2006)

 

Yoga-based exercises will teach you how to re-invent your body after baby. For example, you will learn to:

  • activate and isolate your deep abdominals, which have been stretched and need to become strong again (flat tummy!)
  • retrain stretched/torn pelvic floor muscles (it’s more complicated than just a Kegel)
  • restore a normal breathing pattern (now that your baby isn’t obstructing your main breathing muscle – the diaphragm)
  • modify exercises and functional movements to prevent further damage and promote healing of diastasis rectus
  • progress your exercise program safely and effectively
  • align your body according to principles of good posture (ribs over hips)

Caro side by side

 

Program Features:

  • 60 minute postpartum functional screening assessment with Shelagh Haynes, registered physiotherapist at Ottawa Collaborative Care Centre (102 Lewis St.)
  • 8 one-hour yoga-based exercise and education sessions at OC3, led by Shelagh Haynes, registered physiotherapist and certified yoga instructor
  • physiotherapy extended health coverage may apply

 

Session Specifics:

The Postpartum Yoga Program is available to postpartum Moms. It is recommended you wait 8 weeks after delivery (and receive clearance from your doctor/midwife) before starting this program; however, you may attend the program up to two years postpartum.

The yoga sessions will take place on Tuesdays, from 1:30-2:30pm at Ottawa Collaborative Care Centre. The next session runs over the summer on the following dates:

June 6

June 13
June 20
July 11
July 18
Aug 1
Aug 8
Aug 15

 

How to Register:

Your initial physiotherapy assessment visit must be completed prior to starting the yoga sessions.
Please call 613-230-7891 to schedule your assessment and register for the program.

Fees:

Initial Assessment Visit (including internal pelvic floor exam)        $160
8 Yoga Sessions                  $240

Physiotherapy extended health coverage may apply to these fees.

 

Session Guidelines:

Babies are welcome to attend; however, the focus is on you – the Mom. This is not a “Mom and baby” yoga session, but rather a chance for you to focus on yourself and your new body. Please remember that you will get the most from this program if you are free from distractions. In order to maximize focused time on the mat, please plan your baby’s care, such as breastfeeding, around class times, and arrange babysitting for your toddlers.

 

Resources

SOGC Clinical Practice Joint Policy Statement

Rehabilitation of the Short Pelvic Floor I

Rehabilitation of the Short Pelvic Floor II

The Integrated Continence System

Cochrane Review of Pelvic Floor Muscle Training for Urinary Incontinence in Women

Diastisis Rectus and Exercise Training

Urinary Incontinence in Women with Low Back Pain

Yoga and Health-Related Aspects of Physical Fitness

Women’s Perception of Postpartum Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Yoga and Pilates Postpartum Exercise Program: Improved Quality of Life and Physical and Mental Health

 

References

1. Britnell S. et al. Postural Health in Women: The Role of Physiotherapy. SOGC Clinical Practice Joint Policy Statement, J Obstet Gynaecol Can 2005;27(5):493–500.

Contact Us

613-230-7891

102 Lewis Street
Ottawa, ON
K2P 0S7
Phone: 613-230-7891
Fax: 613-569-1831
Send us an email

Hours

Mondays: 7:00am - 6:00pm
Tuesdays: 7:00am - 6:00pm
Wednesdays: 7:30am - 7:00pm
Thursdays: 7:00am - 8:00pm
Fridays: 7:00am -5:00pm

Saturdays*: 11:00am - 3:00pm

Hours are subject to change.

Parking

You can take advantage of the free 3-hour street parking on Delaware St. There are also several other streets within a couple of blocks (south) of the clinic with free 1 hour parking (Waverly, Frank, MacDonald).

If you require 2 hour parking, please go to McLaren St.