Hello my dear followers,
I get a lots of questions from new mums, when is it safe to get back to exercise after the birth.
What you need to be aware of, every new mum needs to do her 6 week or 10 week, post birth, GP check. Although all I can say that at that GP check, doctors are mainly focused to checked the baby and you get asked only few questions, such as:
Pregnancy, birth, the newborn phase… motherhood is different for every single woman. There is no same journey and this blog is all about respecting the differences between us, of all bumps, birth stories and motherhood journeys.
Some of us love sport and being physically active, some of us love being active in different ways that don’t involve pumping up heart rates, while some of us just don’t like to move at all.
Becoming pregnant changes our whole concept of health and movement. What it means to us now we are carrying a little human often results in a change of perspective on how we want to be during the pregnancy.
But what happens when the pregnancy is over?
After experiencing 9 months of being pregnant, your whole body has responded to change and it’s common to think it will never be the same again. But before you launch into a full fitness frenzy, it’s important to understand that a key part of post-birth is recovery and understanding it’s significance.
Here are few important things to know before even thinking about starting doing any exercise:
- Nutrition – nutrients and protein help your body to heal. Eating biscuits, fast and packet food will be ok to sail through the initial period, but it won’t make a difference to speed up your recovery. If you don’t have time for cooking, look for quick and easy 5 min recipe ideas. Try smoothies, salads with meat or maybe you can prepare meals before you give birth to have them in freezer. Nutrition is number one to give your body the best way to heal properly.
- Rest – no matter how crazy this sounds. I have seen many mums rushing into doing too much just a few days after birth. Birth and pregnancy have caused trauma within your whole body and it will take some time for you to feel ok and ready to get back to any type of exercise. By rest I mean trying to take time to be with your family, instead of trying to rush to do everything like you did before you were pregnant, keeping the house clean and tidy. If you have no chance to rest, do whenever you can.
- Listen To Your Body – listen and observe pain. Where do you feel pain? Does it feel normal? Any tummy bulging and any pressure when you go to toilet? Constipation? Piles? Painful intercourse? Feeling dizzy? Lightheaded? Faster heart rate? You should go and get checked out by your GP or your local The Mummy MOT – specialist women’s physio for all mums.
- Sleep – I guess you will say “Are you joking?” The only thing I’ll respond with is that it helps massively if someone helps you to feed the baby sometimes on the bottle if you are expressing. Or, what worked really well for my husband and I was he sleeping on the sofa in living room, with a baby in the Moses basket and when baby started crying he would just bring her/him to my room to feed her/him. He would then take baby back downstairs so I can have an extra sleep. Have naps when baby sleeps. It helps so much. Sleep helps you to repair better and faster.
When you start to feel better and you are getting out of newborn phase, my advice would be:
- Start with gentle walks. Build the pace and distance gradually. Adjust on how you feel. Spending time outdoors will help you feel better.
- Pelvic floor exercises are advised straight from the birth. You should be doing them daily. Take them seriously to strengthen the muscles that have been working very hard to hold the pressure of baby weight pressing down. Build a good base, before wanting to get back into full fitness.
- When you feel you are ready to get back to exercise class, make sure your body feels ok.
- High impact exercise – again – listen to your body. If you feel abdominal or pelvic pain, leaking, bleeding post exercise that means your body is not ready. Focus on strengthening your body, then try again in few weeks or when it feels right.
- You are post-natal forever from the moment you give birth.
Take your time. You deserve the best possible care and your body does the same.
If you would like to be well looked after in your first post birth exercise class, make sure you join my Pilates for mums & babies, or join in my NEW Holistic Core Restore® 1-2-1 coaching programme.
Wishing you an amazing journey of motherhood!
If you need anything, just get in touch 🙂