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November 18, 2011 > A Smooth Transition from Prenatal to Postpartum

A Smooth Transition from Prenatal to Postpartum

Childbirth and Parenting Program Offers Yoga Class for After Baby is Born

There are those women we always hear about - models, friends of friends or neighbors - who seem to get back to their pre-baby body in eight weeks flat. The rest of us live in reality, where juggling a new baby plus the daily demands of life makes it tough to just get out the door for a walk sometimes.

The good people at Washington Hospital's Maternal/Child Education Department understand the realities of being a new mom, which is why they're offering a unique class - Postpartum Yoga - for moms who want to get in shape and enjoy a little relaxation at the same time.

The best part? You don't even have to find a babysitter, says Karen Smith, R.N., Maternal/Child Education coordinator at Washington Hospital.

"This is a great opportunity for new moms because they can incorporate the baby into the yoga practice," she says. "A lot of times the baby just sits there quietly, but if a mom needs to take a moment, she can step away and attend to her baby's needs.

"And you don't even have to wait for reinforcements, like your mom or significant other, to get exercise for yourself."

Relax and get into shape

Smith says yoga can play a dual role - relaxation and exercise - that is particularly vital for new moms.

"Yoga is not just about getting your body back in shape; it also makes you feel good," she explains. "It's not only the physical; it's mind and body. It helps you relax and incorporates a mental aspect that's so important for new moms."

She adds that the atmosphere is comfortable and relaxing, without the stress of worrying about who's more limber.

"It's not about what your neighbor's doing; it's individualized," Smith says. "There's no pressure, which is great."

So, for those looking for a safe, relaxing way to ease into an exercise routine, this may be just the ticket.

"You need to try it because you might be pleasantly surprised," Smith says. "It's a wonderful transition into exercising and helps you adapt to changes your body is going through until you figure out how to incorporate exercise into your busy life as a mom."

The class takes place every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. for an hour. For more information, including class location, call (510) 818-5040.

Sign, Say and Play!

Are you and your mom friends looking for another opportunity to socialize that involves more than just coffee? It's time to try something new!

"Our Sign, Say and Play class is really great, but the evening time slot is difficult for some people, so we're launching an afternoon section," Smith says. "A lot of times, moms are looking to fill that gap in classes for babies between 6 months and 2 years old."

The class offers an excellent opportunity for moms and babies to learn how to communicate through signing before babies begin talking, explains Smith, adding that babies catch on really fast to signing - and there's even a kit with a book and DVD for practice at home."

"This is perfect for moms who are home alone during the day and are looking for a good way to get out and socialize with friends. Plus, it's great for baby, too."

The class is an hour and a half and can accommodate groups of four or five moms with babies from 6 months old to pre-talking. Classes will be held during the day on Thursdays. To reserve a space for your group, call (510) 818-5040.

Fun classes and more

For more information about Childbirth and Parenting classes at Washington Hospital, visit

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