There’s so much to think about when you have had a baby that it is often very easy to forget about looking after another important person – you!
Good nutrition, staying hydrated and sleeping are all vital, but it is also important to start gentle exercise to work towards regaining a level of fitness and functionality similar to your prenatal state. It’s not just the fitness aspect that is important, the emotional and mental health benefits are plentiful and arise from having a reason to be getting out of the house at a set time of day each week. Meeting new people and giving you a sense of community. Being outdoors helps top up your vitamin D too!
6-week check up
However, you must wait until you’ve had your 6 week GP check before you begin your new regime. Ensure your GP checks that you have adequate intra-abdominal tension to offset any load that will be transferred into your core during normal activities of daily living. If you have a tummy gap then you do need to be very mindful of what form of exercise you take part in. But as stated above, it is the tension within the muscles in between the abdominal walls that is more important, as sometimes our abdominals may not ever fully close.
You should absolutely not start running until you are 6 months postnatal. You need to regain your joint and pelvic stability before you start to put your body under stress. If you are breastfeeding or have recently stopped, then your breasts will be heavy and this can alter your gait and the way in which you run. You may have muscle imbalance and more relaxin in your tendons and ligaments, making them less stable. Your pelvic floor (essentially a hammock between your pubic bone and coccyx), will be under more stress and can stretch further and weaken if you are overloading it through running. These are 5 ways you can comfortably get your fitness back:
There’s a minefield of information out there and it can be so confusing. At the end of the day, the one person you need to always listen to is you. You know how your body feels and you need to listen to and respect it. It has been through quite a journey and needs looking after. Remember, you need to be in harmony with your body and be the best you can be for you.
AUTHOR: ADELE SMYTH
PILATES TEACHER, SURREY
Adele is an integrated health expert. She is a Pilates teacher in Surrey with a special interest in women’s health. She is also an Advanced Sport Massage Therapy practitioner. Adele offers a Holistic Core Restore programme and buggyfit classes for women to increase the strength and functionality of their pelvic floor, stomach and back muscles.