RETURNING TO YOUR USUAL FITNESS

Once you have recovered from the intense changes that new motherhood brings, and perhaps are feeling a little more energetic, you may be raring to go back to your usual fitness regime.  But hold on!  Too much too soon can lead to all kinds of problems, especially if you have not participated in core and pelvic floor rehabilitation.

The safest and most sensible route is to repair the delicate pelvic floor and core muscles after childbirth.  It makes no difference if you have had a ceasarean section, you still carried your baby for long enough to weaken these essential muscles which support your internal organs.  For example, if you have an abdominal separation, and pelvic weakness, then decide to go for a run around your estate, the impact of the running will put pressure on the core, and without the abdominal support, the pelvis tilts into a poor position, putting pressure on your lumbar spine, pelvic floor, knees and ankles.  The impact can even lead to a bladder leakage, bowel leakage, pelvic organ prolapse or stress fracture of the pelvis.  

Exhaustion makes these injuries more likely because the sleep deprivation associated with motherhood slows down tissue repair and causes your balance and posture to be below normal.

In order to get strong enough to return to this kind of intense exercise, FitMama highly recommends spending 4 weeks rehabilitating your core and pelvic floor in our post birth rehabilitation classes, then at least 4-6 months building up your strength and endurance with muscle strengthening and heart fitness methods taught in our postnatal fitness classes (your instructor will tell you when you are ready to be invited to these).  

Once you have completed this journey, have a trial of your usual exercise and look out for signs that you are ready:

  • No pelvic pain or pressure

  • No leaking from bladder or bowel, this includes wind.

  • No back pain

  • No knee pain

  • No ankle pain

  • No bulging feeling in the vagina after exercise

If any of these occur, then revisit your rehabilitation program upon the advice of your instructor for another four weeks and test again.

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