Your Path to Fitness After a Pregnancy
After giving birth, it's essential to rebuild our bodies after what they've experienced and the transformations they're going through still : physically, physiologically, hormonally, mentally, and emotionally.
In terms of getting back into shape, there are clear steps to follow.
I'd like you to discover in this article:
- The reeducation of the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor
- Overall fitness
- Making more intense movements again
- Getting back into sports and physical activities
1- The reeducation of the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor
It's possible to gently start your recovery after 3 days of rest.
What I mean by this is the reeducation of your breathing and deep abdominal muscles. These wonderful muscles' task is to contain your organs and the reeducation of the diastase, which is the distance between your more superficial abdominal muscles, your six pack. You might have noticed a dome or cone in the middle of your stomach whenever you couch, laugh, get up from the bed... that's the diastase!
The diastase is normal when we're pregnant as it allows the baby to develop to its full capacity.
After giving birth, using focused excercises, a mother can do floor excercices to try and ''close'' this distance to diminish, among other things, the pressure coming from inside the abdomen which can lead to problems related to the pelvic floor, the back, the hips and... the neck!
There are also excercices for the pelvic floor or to help manage bladder leakage, lower abdomen heaviness, back pain, a sensation of having a tampon in the vagina and pain during sexual intercourse. To do the progressive steps to your reeducation, you can follow the programme de Maman Active here(in French).
2- Overall fitness
What a great feeling it is to be able to take slow walks and enjoy the sunlight!
Add 5 minutes to your total time per walk to ensure that your body follows your desire to move. For example, leave the house for 5 minutes on Monday, then go out for 10 minutes on Tuesday if you're doing well, and so on.
There are also exercices adapted to new mothers going back to being active whether you've given birth 4-8 weeks ago or 10 years ago! It's never too late to get your physical capabilities back!
It's important to note that you shouldn't do things like before your pregnancy... you're not quite ready physically.
Your body really needs you to work out according to your changes in posture, hormones, sleep quality, and current physical condition, rather than what your level of fitness was before your pregnancy.
You certainly can start using elastics and dumbells! For now, it's all about the intention behind your excercices, not their intensity
The technique, breathing, and adaptation of the exercices' level will be the key to this step's success. Get started on your way to fitness and have fun here.
3- Making more intense movements again
If what you have in mind is to get back to physical activities for a specific sport or activity, this is an essential step. Whether you're 3 months after your baby's birth or with teenagers at home, this kind of training will make you feel strong, resilient and in control of your body at an elevated level.
The body needs to find itself in situations resembling more and more your future activities.
Go for focused, guided and specific training routines more and more closely related to your sport or activity to truly be ready physically on D-day.
If this is the step you're at, try out the Défi de 90 jours L’Aventure where you'll be working out for 3 months toward your objective in sports and activities, live and in person, all the while making sure that you have the optimal mindset to reach it.
4- Getting back into sports and physical activities
You made it! You're going back to your physical activities! This is great!
Enjoy - Adapt - Continue
Reaching this step is the result of a lot of efforts, diligence and perseverance.
I like to say that a workout isn't a chore, it's a lifestyle.
A lifestyle is built one step at a time.
This isn't a sprint, but rather the marathon of a lifetime.
To be able to be active alone, as a group or as a family, is the most beautiful in the world to me.
To be able to feel that we have the power to train our bodies so as to feel good physically and mentally is an incredible and deep source of motivation.
Our body is our ally, let's take good care of it.
I'm wishing you the best of workouts!
Véronique Brouillette works in perinatal kinesiology and family fitness.
She sincerely believes in a hands-on and accessible education and adapted excercices and how they can improve one's health, whether it's the neck, back, pelvis, or abdominal health. She also deals with matters of bodt and self-perception which can come with the new realities of motherhood. By proposing solutions to the discomforts and issues they might feel, women have better chances of living in harmony with their body from pregnancy and after birth.