Child birth is often referred to as this miracle like journey where your body has been glowing and flowering for the past nine months 🤰🏻 In reality many women find the experience far less picturesque and instead look forward to the day when their body feels a bit more ‘theirs’ again.
We get asked a lot about how to return to exercise after having a baby, and why some women appear to ‘bounce back’ whilst others don’t - quite simply the answer is complicated!
Let me explain more...
It took 40 weeks for your body to develop into the point you’re at now. In those 40 weeks your body grew 300 bones, 1250ml of plasma and the result is an actual human being! 'Bouncing back', is not top of your bodies priorities right now ❌
Depending on the type of birth you had, as well as any complications during pregnancy, are the key factors to take into consideration when getting back to the grind after baby arrives. Gentle exercise and getting moving again is great for helping your body recover from childbirth and can actually help with symptoms of post natal depression - but only if approached in the right way.
If you had a straight forward birth then you can start with gentle movements as soon as you feel up to it. This can include walking, gentle stretches and some basic pelvic floor exercises. However avoid any high impact stuff, like running or your fave HIIT class until after your 6 week postnatal check ✅
If you had a more complicated birth, or a caesarean; then you will need a little more time to recover. Your core muscles are named core for a reason, they are at the core of all your movements, and they need time to heal and knit back together. You will be told to limit your movement whilst your stitches heal and shouldn’t try to lift any weights during the first 6 weeks. Gentle walking is okay, but listen to your body – you’ve had major surgery and will need to take it a little bit easier for 6 weeks at least.
The important thing to remember about getting back to exercise after pregnancy is that you absolutely must listen to your body. Your lower back and core abdominal muscles have had to move and separate to make room for baby so regardless of how fit you were before or during pregnancy they are still going to be weaker then they were. Your ligaments and joints will also be more supple and flexible for up to four months after your give birth and this can make you more prone to injury if you ignore warning twinges and try to ‘power through’.
Take it gently and build up into fitness again through RWLs post-natal work outs. Listen to your body and remember you’re a mum now, and mum’s know best!