Women’s fitness expert and Healthista collective expert Rosie Stockley reveals 4 things to look out for and look out for if you’re planning any postpartum fitness.
Whether you’re a first-time mom or you’ve been here a few times before, your body will be very different after pregnancy.
Although you may want to get back to your fitness routine, you may wonder if it’s safe to do so.
Your postpartum body will feel very different after pregnancy
Of course, your pregnancy, type of labor, or any complications during labor will dictate what exercises you should and shouldn’t do, but the most important thing to focus on is how you feel inside.
Here are some things to consider and keep in mind when looking to exercise with your postpartum body.
#1 Diastasis Recti
During pregnancy, as the baby grows, the linea alba (the tissue that runs across your abdomen) stretches and separates, known as diastasis recti.
This is usually defined as an opening of 2 cm or more. All women will experience some abdominal distention before full pregnancy, so it’s not something to worry too much about beforehand.
A qualified postpartum trainer can help you do exercises that strengthen the area
Abdominal cavities may naturally realign, may take several months, or may require slightly more specific reconstruction. A qualified postpartum trainer can help you do exercises that strengthen the area, encourage more tension in the core, and work to reattach the muscles.
If you feel like you have a big gap, a visit to women’s health physical therapy can really put your mind at ease, and they are experts in checking this area and providing a rehab program.
READ MORE. Postpartum Fitness – 5 Safe and Effective Exercises
#2 Your pelvic floor
All women need strong pelvic floor muscles, especially during and after pregnancy. These muscles are stretched to allow the baby to pass through and must then contract into the normal postpartum phase.
If women practice pelvic floor exercises during and after pregnancy, they are likely to recover faster postpartum. A weak pelvic floor can cause incontinence, which, if left untreated, can cause problems later in life.
A weak pelvic floor can cause incontinence
It’s important to not just accept the discharge as something that comes with childbirth, but to work on the causes of it instead. A stronger pelvic floor will also make your core stronger overall, help you lift heavier weights, reduce your risk of prolapse, and improve your sex drive.
The exercises can be done in just a few minutes each day and include a combination of muscle contraction and complete relaxation. Deep breathing and relaxation can also greatly help the pelvic floor and learning how to do movements in daily life that won’t make any symptoms worse.
As before, a women’s health physiotherapist will be able to assess your pelvic floor and outline specific exercises for you.
READ MORE. Pregnancy and exercise. 7 things expectant mothers should know
#3 Careful stretching
Relaxin is a hormone that is produced from about the second week of pregnancy and is present until breastfeeding stops. This hormone allows the ligaments in the pelvis to loosen, which helps the body slowly adjust and expand, and also enables the birthing process.
Although relaxin is present, it is not only limited to the hip joints, other joints will also become more relaxed and less stable. You may find that you are more flexible with a greater range of motion than before, so be careful when stretching.
# Feeling low energy and tired
Postpartum, you are likely to be very tired due to the relentless cycle of night wakings, feedings, and caring for the baby. It pays to pay attention to your body before you exercise to assess whether the exercise you’re doing will serve you well.
Some days it may be more beneficial to stretch and move slowly, or just go for a walk, rather than a full-on intense workout.
Feel confident exercising during pregnancy by discussing your needs with a women’s fitness professional Rosie Stockley.
At your session, Rosie can help you find accommodations for your workouts, figure out what’s best for you at each stage of your pregnancy, answer any questions about aches and pains or specific movements.
Book your pregnancy consultation with Rosie here.
Rosie can talk about her work experience and refer you to professionals or experts in other related fields. He is also a great encourager and will build you up, make you feel energized and confident.
You will leave the session with a smile on your face and feeling like you have taken a really positive step for YOU. Sessions are fully tailored to YOUR needs. Maybe you need an exercise list, maybe you just need to check in once a month for a confidence boost. We will work for you.
*Please note, Rosie cannot give medical advice.
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