5 Things I Bet You Didn't Know About Post-Pregnancy Fitness
Your body is recovering in the months after delivery. I mean, your body goes through some massive changes and needs to adapt to your developing baby, your hormones are off the map, and labour and delivery??? It takes a lot out of our bodies.
Women are returingin to thier intense fitness programs long before they're ready and are frusterated with the lack of results after all of the work they are putting in.
Here is what you need to know when you start exercising again
1. Even after your 6-week check-up, you may not be fully healed. When your doctor or OB does and internal examination at this time, they are only looking at your uterus, cervix and not your pelvic floor, so they may not see that there is a pelvic organ prolapse. Not only that, but not all doctors are looking for ab separation, so starting fitness program that prescribes crunches, planks, twisting, jumping, running, sudden changes in direction, may do more harm than good.
2. Your breasts are different and may become engorged and tender, so doing any exercises that require you to lay flat on your belly may be extremely uncomfortable. In times where you need to be on your belly like when you're getting a massage, you can place towels under your shoulders for relief. Also remember to wash your breasts, change your bra, and nursing pads immediately after.
3. Cortisol is at it's all time high! Between night time feedings, doing your everyday tasks, and life with a baby, your stress levels are way off. When your cortisol levels are high, you may notice that your belly fat isn't going anywhere! A couple things are happening a) cortisol encourages fat storage around the belly and your hunger hormone, leptin--which sends the signals to your brain that you are full after eating, don't exactly respond well when you're stressed meaning you may overeat when you're not intending to.
4. Your posture needs to be addressed. The weight distribution changes during pregnancy and your entire alignment shift to compensate. Your pelvis rotates, your shoulders may roll forward, chin jets out, knees lock, and your spine and neck may curve. These are all normal and there are preventative measures you can take during pregnancy to minimize these effects, but when you exercise with poor posture, that may never get the results you want and prolonging some of your discomforts.
5. Relaxin & progesterone take 3-6 months after birth. That's right, you may be hypermobile long after the birth of your baby. Remember the exercises that are not recommended during pregnancy because of relaxin? (if not, you can download your FREE ebook, Your Fitness Guide During Pregnancy) by clicking here. You may need to avoid programs like boot camps, kick boxing, and crossfit for up to a year. You are at a greater risk of injury when you participate in activities that require sudden changes in direction.
For years we were given the green light at the 6-week check-up but now we're learning that doesn't mean that you're completely healed and depending on the nature of your birth, the process may be longer. When you get your 6 week pelvic exam, your doctor isn't looking at any injuries that your core or pelvic floor have sustined. The look to see if your cervix and uterus is back to normal and that the bleeding has stopped. We now know that pregnancy and birth can take up to a year (maybe longer) for complete recovery if we provide it with the right tools to do so.
Unfortunately, many women don't know that they may be doing more harm than good post-pregnancy. Getting assessed by a pelvic floor physio and working with a fitness professional that has extensive training in prenatal and postpartum fitness will ensure complete recovery without any preventable complications.
Love your baby body,
Fitness after pregnancy has incredible benefits but your program needs to complement your recover. It can take 12 months to completely, physically recover and when thinking about getting back into fitness, you need to start off slow. For more information, you can download The Post-Baby Fitness Guide for FREE here!
Post-Baby Rehab has been created with all of this in mind. It's safe for all new moms in their first year postpartum and it complements your treatment plan with your pelvic floor physio. You will build strength, burn fat and love your baby body with this one of a kind fitness program. Post-Baby Rehab starts September 13th at the Mama's Physio in London,Ont.
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Love your baby body,