After having Lilah I remember being extremely shocked at how weak my stomach muscles were, in fact how weak my whole body was. When I was pregnant with Hayden I prepared myself, or I thought I did, for this again. And boy-oh-boy it didn’t work. I thought I remembered how weak I was but I had forgotten.
So the second time around was a shock too. I kept doing Pilates and dancing throughout my pregnancy and some days doing too much and pushing my body too far. Not a good idea, by the way.
I suffered from diastasis recti afterwards and this is no fun. What is diastasis? In short it’s when your tummy muscles separate. Not good and really not fun. I believe I had diastasis for two reasons; 1. I did;t take it easy during my pregnancy and performed exercises and movements I would dare allow any of my clients to do and 2. I started way too quickly and too vigorously.
So I have made a list of important things to remember after having a baby and wanting to exercise.
Get clearance from your doctor before trying to do any exercises
Check yourself for diastasis and if you have a gap of more than two fingers in-between your abs then you need to take it slow and not push yourself too much.
Take it slow
Easy does it. Society places way too much pressure on new moms to instantly get their pre-baby bodies back. Yes, this is great if you can but not everyone can instantly get their bodies back. It takes a lot of hard work and effort for many people. And that’s ok. Don’t try to push yourself too hard.
Squeeze that pelvic floor
During pregnancy the muscles in your pelvic floor become stretched out so make sure that you don’t forget to work them too.
If you’re breastfeeding or just carrying your baby around posture takes a dive after pregnancy. So try to be more aware during the day and leave yourself little reminders to correct your posture throughout the day.
Look after yourself after having a baby. Often we place so much focus on the perfect new bundle of joy that we forget to focus on ourselves a little. You only have one body. Cherish it. I’d love to hear if you had good or bad experiences when starting to exercise after your pregnancy.