Exercise after baby. Is your body ready?

Denise Chiriboga Fitness, Uncategorized 0 Comments

Wanna know what makes me cringe?
When I hear new moms who are just weeks or a few months postpartum talk about how they started running or going to crossfit, or going hard back to exercise. Any exercise.

Ahhhhh queue the cringe face.

It’s not that you want to get back to exercise that makes me cringe, it’s that most moms don’t know that they’re putting themselves at an increased risk for internal injury by going balls-to-the-wall back to their old training regime or a new exercise regime.

Not only has your pelvic floor been stretched out to the max for the last number of months carrying a heavy baby, but the relaxin hormone is still surging through your body up until four months after you finish breastfeeding.

most moms don’t know that they’re putting themselves at an increased risk for internal injury by going balls to the wall back to their old training regime or a new exercise regime.

What is the pelvic floor?
• Your pelvic floor is a sling or hammock-like collection of muscles and connective tissue that hold your pelvic organs namely your uterus, vagina, bladder, bowel and rectum in place.
• The pelvic floor muscles are important as they provide support and stability to our spine and pelvis, help keep our organs in place and help maintain our continence. (Continence is the ability of our body to hold back urine)
• It is one of the 4 muscles that forms our deep core system

What’s relaxin ?
• Relaixin is the hormone that is in our body during pregnancy and after while we are breastfeeding.
• It prepares the body for birth by relaxing the joints and ligaments in the pelvis and softens the cervix.
• It’s this hormone that makes us more flexible, which results in our ability to overstretch without even knowing it.

Why does the pelvic floor and relaxin matter to postpartum moms?
When moms go back to fitness too fast and too soon, it can result in pelvic floor dysfunction, or exacerbate dysfunction they didn’t even know they had. It can also result in injuries like twisted ankles due to the relaxin.

Signs of pelvic floor dysfunction:
• Leaking urine when you sneeze, cough, laugh, pick up something heavy
• Heavy feeling in your vagina, or the feeling like something is going to fall out of your vagina
• Cone shaped belly, mummy tummy or extra wrinkly skin you can’t get rid of
• Persistent low back pain
• Painful sex

When moms go back to fitness too fast and too soon, it can result in pelvic floor dysfunction, or exacerbate dysfunction they didn’t even know they had. It can also result in injuries like twisted ankles due to the relaxin.

Many times new moms don’t even know they have pelvic dysfunction and are symptom free until they start back to exercise. In my case it was the jumping jacks which made me start to leak urine. How embarrassing right?

You want to get back to exercise, and you want to avoid all these potential issues. So what’s a new mama to do?

• Make sure you see a pelvic floor physiotherapist to get an internal exam and the official ok that you can start to exercise again.
• Ensure that any exercise you do is with a trainer who specializes in re-training the core and pelvic floor after baby. (My Strong Mom Fitness & Strong Mom Strollerfit classes and personal training all fit the bill! Learn more about my classes here )

And don’t forget that it took 9 months to make this baby, it will take just as much time to recover and get your body back to functioning at its pre-baby level.

I’d love to know how you plan on starting your fitness after baby regime. Hit reply and let me know.

In fitness & nutrition

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