'Myths and Postnatal Exercise'

Pregnancy and birth. The impact they have on your body is astronomical.



 

Motherhood quickly changes us, the minute the baby is born OUR bodies are no longer the priority, despite the fact that we have just gone through a huge physical ordeal. Mothers guilt kicks in. So let me say this in the most straightforward way – putting your physical and mental health at the top of your priority list is not an indulgence. It is not a luxury. It is paramount. Partners/husbands/boyfriends. If you want your relationship to continue to be a happy one,  if you want to have healthy sex life then let your partner heal her body, let her process the changes, let her get her self confidence back and support her so that she can put herself first. Mothers, your postnatal recovery is essential to your well being.

 

There are an abundance of common misconceptions but I wanted to touch on a few to start with.

 

let me say this in the most straightforward way - putting your physical and mental health at the top of your priority list is not an indulgence

Start as soon as you can. Common sense needs to be applied here but the ‘6 week wait’ is outdated. I’m not saying that one week after your delivery you’re back in the gym dead lifting your body weight or running a marathon. What I am saying is you book your consultation with a pregnancy and postnatal exercise specialist or a women’s health physio ( within a few weeks of delivery – both ideally) have your first assessment- have your Diastasis checked, have your pelvic floor checked and then embark on a specific postnatal exercise recovery regime. There are three phases of postnatal recovery programs on my website – it’s going to take you a good few months to recovery effectively – maybe even a year so the sooner you start the sooner you can get back to the old you or new you.

 

The ‘mummy tummy’ – I despise this saying but what it implies is now that you are a mum, this is how your body will look, this is how your body will function. No. Do not accept this. If you are suffering with abdominal protrusion, have doming when you do certain exercises/activities and still look pregnant then more then likely you have diastasis recti. Carry on functioning with diastasis recti and you run the risk of making it worse and exposing yourself to more injuries in the future. Try to get a ‘flat stomach’ by doing crunches, sit ups, ab challenges and so on and you will make it worse. I have had clients who returned to exercising after pregnancy and come to me 2 years postnatal and still have diastasis recti – it won’t go away on its own.

 

Avoid jumping or simply accept leakage a normal part of life? We don’t need to do this and it shouldn’t ever be normalised. If you’re still leaking or have incontinence issues then your core is not functioning as it should – these are signs of a deeper problem and can be corrected through the right guidance – seeing a women’s health physiotherapist and possibly going back to basics when it comes to exercise may be needed.

 

The common theme with all of the above is

 

It doesn’t matter who you are, how fit you were during pregnancy, what type of birth you had – we all need to do some form of postnatal recovery.

 

You need to start as soon as possible but equally it’s never too late to start , you may just have to work a little harder to rehab.

 

Put yourself in the right hands – only see a fully qualified, insured pregnancy and postnatal exercise specialist as well as a women’s health physiotherapist . Make sure these people make it their sole business to work with this population.

If you have any questions about your postnatal recovery journey please get in contact via the contact page.

Samala x