Things To Know About Postpartum Fitness
I just got back home after attending to my sister who delivered last week. Having been 30 months past this phase myself, I once again realized that getting pregnant, putting up through the pregnancy and delivering a baby are the greatest physical accomplishment that a woman could have. ‘Overwhelming’ as an expression is not enough to justify the radical shift that the journey brings in a woman’s life. It’s a massive disruption of the mind and body inside out and so must not be allowed to pass lightly.
If you are here and reading this, I believe you are somewhere into this journey. Having delivered your ‘mini-me/him’, what do you feel when you look at yourself in the mirror? I have been there and know the strong urge somehow jump back into the old body and mind space. Well, let’s accept the fact, both will take time, A LOT OF TIME. Time and patience are the key to it.
It goes beyond saying that it is extremely important to work on your postpartum physical fitness. At the same time, taking it slow is equally critical. The core is the centre of action to any form of fitness training and in your case the core has been wrecked and is fragile. For at least up to 12 weeks it is not advisable to take up heavy exercises that stress your core. However, low impact exercises as Kegel, deep breathing, heel toe marches and heel drops would be really great to start with to strengthen your core. These not only aid in faster recovery but also prep your body for more intensive workout in the coming months.
Just like your core, the bust also undergoes a massive change during and post pregnancy. This is generally applicable irrespective of breast feeding or not. If you have not been a busty girl all your life, you must be prepared for this. You need a good bra to support your bust and your shoulders. If you intend to workout, investing in a high impact sports bra is advisable.
Well, while this might sound gross to some, many women have to face leakage while laughing, playing or even moving around. Yes, this is a real problem that is not very commonly talked about. The pelvic muscles are most worked out during pregnancy and more so at the time of delivery. If you have been putting too much strain on your pelvic floor during pregnancy and soon into postpartum, you are more likely to face this issue. Also, if you are not training your body at all postpartum, your core will not heal strong enough to handle to avoid leakage. Practicing Kegels is a good way to initially work on the pelvic floor and core strength. Also, remember to empty your bladder before any workout, use panty liners and start with any high impact workout only 6-8 months postpartum.
While all moms look forward to getting fit and in shape postpartum, it is surprising to experience the lack of motivation and energy to do so when your doctor finally green signals you for it. Nursing and diaper changing themselves seem like a full day job. It becomes difficult to squeeze out a whole hour for self-care. But it is important to remember, that a little goes a long way. I personally struggled a lot with time for my fitness routine. Thankfully, the 30-minute walk with my baby and husband helped a lot as this was all I could spare from my never-ending baby care cycle. It not only helped me in gaining physical fitness but also being mentally relaxed and finding time to connect back with the spouse, which is last in priority but pretty important to keep you sane in all the madness. A short walk, light yoga or grooving to your favourite music all add up to your wellness.
With all the stress on working out and strengthening your muscles, it is of utmost importance to keep yourself safe from injuries. Postpartum, a lot of the calcium intake is used up for creating and filling milk for breastfed babies. This results in low bone density and higher risk to injuries. Do watch out to not overstretch yourself while optimizing your workout to keep fit.
Exercise is vital for fitness at all times in life but the postpartum is a tricky phase. Knowledge and practice of the do’s and don’ts will help you through the journey.
More power to the strong and beautiful mommies out there. Keep your self-fuelled and slay through motherhood.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.