Postnatal recovery - Why patience is key!

Recovery after baby is born is of utmost importance and how you rehabilitate your body will have long lasting effects on your body. Not only does internal & external healing play a role, but the lack of sleep you will be experiencing along with adapting to this new little pair of feet in your house takes a toll on your mental health as well. You need to be gentle and patient with yourself - after all, you didn't gain all that baby weight over night so you can't expect to just drop it in a few days' time either!

Movement and exercise are great ways to help rehab & strengthen your body, feel energised again and start getting back to your old self. Isn't that what any new-mom wants?

Buy where do you start?? When are you allowed to train again? What kind of exercises are safe to do postpartum? These are the questions I get asked by most new moms .

The first 6-weeks Postpartum

During the days and weeks after your little bundle of joy was born your body will start to heal itself and go back to pre-baby condition. However, just as pregnancy is different for all women, so is the recovery phase afterwards and there is no specific timeline with specific changes that HAS to occur for you to heal. It is a very individualised process! You will be surprised to hear from women who were advent prenatal yogies or extremely active during their whole pregnancy that even for them their bodies feel tired, weak and just not their own - your body truly does need time to recover.

So how soon can I start training again?

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) it is safe to resume light, low-impact exercise as soon as you get the green light from your midwife or doctor - as long as you feel up to it. Although most doctors generally only give the green light after the 6-week check up mark to see how you are doing. If you exercised all throughout your pregnancy and you had a normal vaginal delivery, you can do light exercise within days of giving birth as long as you are not in any pain. But please don't overdo it, if you weren't active during your whole pregnancy or you tapered off towards the end, then double check with your doctor/midwife before resuming your fitness regime.

However, if you had a C-section it is most definitely not advised to do any physical activity until you doctor/midwife has given you the green light. Remember - you had a major operation and the body needs even more TLC to recover than it does after normal vaginal birth. So please take it easy on your body - grant it the time to recover!

Which exercises are considered safe?

Even if you were active during your whole pregnancy it is recommended to start of gradually and build up on your strength as time progresses. Start off with basic, low impact activities such as walking. This will also help with healing especially if you had a C-section, it improves the blood circulation and can help prevent blood clots from forming.

If you want to take up strength training again make sure that you come in contact with a specialist in the field of Postpartum recovery {such as GlowFit Training ;) } to ensure they know how to heal the body through corrective exercise especially if you experienced Diastasis Recti during your pregnancy - not all personal trainers are informed about this matter and can do more harm than good by just prescribing "normal" exercises. Even more caution needs to be taken when it comes to core training postpartum - you don't want to aggravate that Diastasis Recti even more. Good postpartum abdominal exercises should minimize stress on your lower back and mid-line.

Diastasis Recti

Another factor to take into consideration is that you might feel like your joints are a bit wobbly - this can be due to the hormone Relaxin that is released in the body during pregnancy to help soften the joints & connective tissue and this can have a lasting effect on the body even after baby is born, it doesn't just disappear overnight. So you need to be especially careful with jerky, high impact movements to protect your joints. Relaxin can still reside in the body up to 5 months post birth!

Exercise is very good for you, but too much too soon could also be worse for you than rather just resting 6-weeks and then picking it back up. Your body needs time to heal and you need time to adjust to your new role - being a mom and bonding with your little one!

Here at GlowFit we will help and guide you every step of the way to regain your confidence and reach your health & fitness goals in a safe & effective manner. Let me help you - Contact us today for your #Postnatal programme and lets get started on getting your mojo back !

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