We all dream of that fit toned body that we think we are going to get in the blink of an eye, now that you have all that maternity leave to enjoy! Think again…. it is NOT that easy and it takes time. Having a new born takes time, patience, lots of sleep and lot’s of coffee breaks with other new Mums who totally know what you’re going through. So if you don’t get back into your skinny jeans when your baby is just 4 weeks.. this is the same for all other Mums.. unless you’re a Kardashian!
Take your time and enjoy your new born. Don’t put ANY pressure on yourself or your body too soon. It took almost 10 months to get your body ready for the delivery and it will take time to get back into shape too. Here are some of my Top Tips for Mums looking to get back exercising, post partum.
- Check your Abdominals for Separation and allow recovery patiently. This is also called Diastasis Recti and is a separation of the abdominal Muscles from the growth of the baby during pregnancy. Some Mums don’t get it, but your health care provider will check this for you on your 6 week check up. Avoid any deep crunches and twists if you have it, and allow sufficient amount of time for recovery. There are plenty of other exercises you can do during this recovery time (modified plank work, standing crunches, squats, lunges etc)
- Start back slowly: Take your time coming back to exercise. There is no rush at all, and your body needs time to recover after the delivery in most cases. A C-section recovery can take up to 12 weeks, for rigorous exercise and 6 weeks for modified slower exercising. Start back slowly after a few weeks and just take walks at the start. No need to jump straight back in and it can cause more injury and extended recovery times if you do any damage at this early stage. If in doubt, ask your healthcare provider. The PHN are great for asking questions like this too, about yourself, aswell as your new baby.
- Pelvic Floor: The first exercises you can do are your Pelvic Floor Exercises (otherwise known as Kegels! Putting too much pressure on your Pelvic Floor region after having a baby, can cause more damage, and worse still, organ prolapse.
- Keep Hydrated: Be sure to keep that water coming once you start working out and particularly if you are breastfeeding. Keep a nice water bottle at hand all the time and refill, refill, refill!
- Enrol or take part in a mid morning activity with your baby: The is the time of day that can often be difficult for new Mums trying to get out the door with baby! But if you have something to go to with your baby, you don’t need to plan a sitter and it makes you get up and out of the house and your PJ’s! There are so many benefits that go along with this.
- Watch your joints! : There is a hormone that is released in your body during pregnancy, that makes all your joints a bit more limber! This hormone is called ‘Relaxin’ and can stay in the body for up to 6 months, or while you are still breastfeeding. So if you couldn’t do the splits before you got pregnant, you certainly shouldn’t be trying during your post natal months. Be sure to also take care not to over do any vigorous moves that you don’t normally do.
- Note any bleeding: If you stopped bleeding but then your exercising has brought it on again, then STOP! This is your body telling you that you have started back too soon.