Did you know that post birth you are actually “postnatal forever” ! Pregnancy and birth have a HUGE impact on your core and pelvic floor, and I think most Mama’s can agree that you do not “snap” back to your pre-body when you are 6 weeks postpartum, especially when you are given the “all clear” by your Dr or OB to start exercising.
Being post natal forever is something that I really believe in !
- You don’t stop being postnatal and potentially experiencing issues to do with pregnancy and birth, just because you reached the magical six month post birth mark.
- Your pelvic floor muscles don’t magically get stronger. Or continue to be effective just after a few months or days of attention !
- The connective tissue that supports your pelvic organs doesn’t magically get firmer .
- Your abdominal wall separation / diastatis recti doesn’t magically close and get stronger at transferring load during exercise.
Travel your own recovery road
Your goal when returning to exercise postpartum should be to rehab BEFORE you re-train so you have a strong foundation on which to build. Not sure where to start – grab my complimentary Core Training Guide, you can even begin this during pregnancy.
Your recovery might take, 8 weeks, 4 months or 5 years. Every woman’s postpartum recovery journey is different depending on a variety of factors including what exercise you have been doing before and during pregnancy, your birth, your sleep and even your posture !
CONSISTENT safe and effective movement for LIFE is the key
I know it is challenging as you scroll through social media and see mama’s who are post birth – running marathons, planking, lifting 40 kg above their heads or loving their bikini body challenge burpees ! It’s hard not to feel like there is some sort of “shape” you should be in.
Remember they are not you, and you do not need to be them. If you have EVER given birth, you are post natal forever. So please don’t give yourself an expected recovery deadline and please PLEEEASE avoid comparing yourself with other “miraculous” returns to pre-baby bodies on social media.
Risk Vs Reward
When doing any movement as a mother the benefits need to significantly outweigh the risk. For sure, there is some inherent risk with any kinds exercise, regardless of how ‘perfectly’ it’s programmed. I would also argue, there’s greater risk with not exercising.
However, exercising isn’t just about throwing some sprints in at the end of a workout. Or, working kettlebell swings, burpees, crunches and jump squats into a circuit because they make you sweat !
Your body has gone through significant changes during pregnancy and birth, so if higher intensity movements are to be included in a workout they need to be programmed and planned strategically…..when you are ready !
Importantly, if you are already exhausted and depleted as a busy Mum – you are not going to get any benefits by depleting yourself further through these types of movements – you are most likely going to end up injured.
If you have ever given birth..remember the road to recovery is temporary, but injury can be permanent !
Your forever Mama workout
Many of my postpartum clients continue to do their post natal exercise programs I have provided – when their kids are well into primary school !
But what if we look a little further into the future… Do you stop being post natal just because you’re in your 50’s or 60’s?
Nop ! You still need to move safely and effectively in a way that is suits your pelvic floor and core health.
50% of postpartum women are likely to have some kind of prolapse at some point in their lives
You are postnatal forever
That includes any woman who has EVER given birth !
These statistics can be improved !!! It just takes a little bit of consistent effort (and I don’t just mean kegels) and empowering yourself with what are safe and appropriate movements.
Check out these other blog posts for both pregnancy and post natal workout guidance :
Above all, it is important to tune into your own body and meet it where it is at – daily ! Give yourself a contract of NO COMPARISON – this means don’t compare yourself to how you exercised before pregnancy, what the person next to you is doing for a workout, what you see on social media and think you should be doing and what you were capable of yesterday. As every day is different, every woman is different and every birth is different. Healthy looks different on every body !
Want to return to exercise safely now. Grab my #freebie Core Training Guide – suitable for any trimester of pregnancy and postpartum and could even be done well into your 60’s and 70’s !!
Connect with me in my Facebook Community called #BFABSQUAD and let me know your thoughts