We are bombarded with so much information during our pregnancy about what to eat, what not to eat, how to give birth, how to breastfeed, how to wrap your baby… but what about the importance of safe and effective recovery postpartum?
Growing a tiny human inside our bodies is truly incredible and amazing. To think of what the human body can do blows my mind. With this all said and done, the moment we deliver our baby we are pretty much left on our own to recover from 9 months of dramatic changes and child birth.
After the birth of my first baby, all that I knew was that I had to wait until my 6 week check up and I was good to go. The guidelines are there but they are very broad and you will only find these if you really search for them.
I waited until I was 12 weeks postpartum to go for a slow jog. I ended up injuring my hip which required months of physiotherapy and rest (not ideal with a newborn!) just to walk without being in pain.
I was determined to make sure that this wouldn’t happen again with my second baby.
From day one postpartum, I started slowly with pelvic floor and deep core abdominal bracing exercises. I progressed slowly with short walks, core stabilisation, low impact cardio, light weights and then finally to running. I am stronger and fitter than I have ever felt, even before having kids, and best of all no injuries!
So the answer to my question, “Is it safe to exercise after having a baby?” is yes! As long as it is the right type of exercise and that your pelvic floor and core have been assessed to check for signs of prolapse and abdominal separation. Also keep in mind that the hormone responsible for loosening the ligaments in your pelvis to prepare for child birth (Relaxin) can still be present 3-4 months after birth.
My biggest piece of advice is to progress slowly, see a Women’s Health Physiotherapist and find yourself a Postnatal Personal Trainer who can guide you through the correct exercises that are safe to commence for your individual circumstances.
Sarah Male, from Varsity Lakes, Gold Coast is mummy to Jordy 3 and Ella 7 months. A Personal Trainer certified inEarly and Advanced Postnatal Programming, Sarah is passionate about helping mums return to exercise with safe and effective training.