I gave birth 15months ago, it seems to have flown by! Before having Grace I was very sporty, I loved the gym and my classes. I ran a lot and just enjoyed getting sweaty. Once pregnant I found I was very frustrated by the lack of dynamic classes I could take, but my body was also changing and therefore I felt tired and quite ill. I therefore gave into the experience (reluctantly).
Post birth I was so excited to get back to everything. I wanted to spend time getting back into shape and really finding that mental escape. Anyone with a child will realize how unrealistic that is and how naive I was. There are so many things happening and changing post a baby from hormones to lack of sleep and just the new volume of washing you need to do. I also never understood the effect carrying a baby would have on my body.
15months later and I have learnt so much that I wanted to share offering potential insight and possibly reassurance.
1. Your body: birth is a major change and process on the body. You may feel ok, however your body is changing and recovering. You need to avoid heavy impact for up to 5 months post birth. You need to recognize you are changing and that your core is significantly weakened, don’t underestimate this or you will end up with back problems in the long run – not good when you have to pick up a baby!
2. Weight loss: Everyone puts weight on when pregnant. Losing it afterwards can take time, it took you 9 months to put it on remember. This needs to be done in a mindful way and whilst I know this is frustrating it is for the best. Now here is the good part, everyday you lift a baby that baby gets heavier and you keep lifting them….this leads to toning of the arms and core if picked up correctly. I now have the most toned arms and stomach ever!
3. Be kind to yourself: You have just had a baby. Know your body and when you need a rest.
4. Breast feeding: If you are breastfeeding, make sure you don’t do too many overhead exercises and drink lots of water. Be mindful when on your front and wear a good bra.
5. Classes: Build your fitness. You will be weaker then usual. Don’t push yourself too hard it will end in injury. Yoga is such a lovely way to come back into exercise as the mindful element can really help when you are tired and stressed, restoring balance. Start with some yoga which is amazing to build the core, develop to other classes like our Method or Dynamic Sculpt. Reformer pilates is awesome to quickly make your muscles remember who they are and enjoy it!!
Guide to returning to exercise
- Gentle exercises can be commenced at home in the first few weeks after the birth. Wait until you have had a satisfactory postnatal check-up before commencing more vigorous exercise.
- If you had a caesarian delivery it is advisable to wait upto 12 weeks.
- If you are breastfeeding, feed before exercising.
- Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise.
- Don’t exercise on an empty stomach
- Incorporate exercise into your daily activities as much as possible.
- Swap your exercise session for a rest if you need it.
- Start slowly and work up to more vigorous exercise or you will get inured. Recognize when your body has had enough.
- Stop immediately if pain is experienced or make adaptations if you feel uncomfortable.
Remember we offer pre and post natal assessments with any membership including a Studio One Top Up Card to help you get the most out of your time with us, safely.
Be kind to yourself and see you on the mat x