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 .
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
– the pelvic floor
– “the core”
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)
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
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:
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.
Initial Assessment Visit (including internal pelvic floor exam)
8 Yoga Sessions
Physiotherapy extended health coverage may apply to these fees.
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.
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.