Your Post Baby-Body Tips
So you just pushed a watermelon out of one of the tiniest holes in your body. You may feel overwhelmed with your new responsibilities: taking care of this new little human, babyproofing the house, etc. YOU are probably not your priority.
You, your pelvic floor and your abdominals have probably all taken a back seat. However, you want to recover so you can be the best mom that you can be! You want to feel like yourself again. And you want to do this as quickly as possible. Here are some tips to help you feel as best as you can ASAP!
Pay attention to your pelvic floor! The pelvic floor consists of muscles that support your pelvic organs, your sexual functioning organs (important!) and your pelvic bones. Yes, they took a beating during your pregnancy and delivery, but it doesn’t mean that they need to rest during your post partum period.
You don’t even have to wait until your 6 week post partum check up to start working these muscles. Why? Because the more your exercise these muscles, the more blood flows to this area which then speeds up the healing process. Ok, you can rest for a few days, but don’t forget about these muscles!
Strengthen them by squeezing as if you have to hold in your urine or hold back gas. Don’t do this on the toilet while you are urinating! This sends very confusing signals to your brain. You can do these exercises any other time. And no one knows you are doing them! Remember to relax your butt muscles, your abdominal muscles and your thigh muscles. And don’t forget to breathe!
2. The mummy tummy
You may feel that you still look pregnant after several weeks/months have gone by. You are eating correctly and exercising, but you can’t get rid of this baby ‘pouch’. You may be eating all the right things, but you may be exercising wrong.
You will actually recover your abdominals a lot quicker if you DON’T do crunches. Why? Within two months post partum, a hormone called relaxin is still coursing through your body. This hormone targets connective tissue/collagen. It can affect this connective tissue structure in your abdomen that is between your “6 pack” muscles. This structure can become so weak that your abdominal muscles may split more than they need to.
If they split too much, you can develop a condition called Diastasis Recti. This condition can cause you to still look pregnant. There are more serious complications that can result from this condition since your abdominals are no longer protecting your internal organs. You can also develop back pain. So stay away from crunches for at least 2 months!
3. Everyone is different
Another factor that may influence recovery is your genetic makeup. Maybe your connective tissue/collagen/muscle tone is just genetically weaker. And that is ok. You may just have to take a little longer to recover and be safe. Don’t try comparing yourself to anyone else! You are unique and perfect in your own way.
If you suffered a more traumatic labor and delivery or if you feel that you are just taking a little longer to recover than usual, please don’t fret. Keep working those pelvic floor muscles. Keep safely working your abdominals.
Also, continue to use your maternity support belts if you feel that they were supportive and pressure relieving. Ask your health care provider what else you can do to work on your recovery. You may have a lot going on post partum, but don’t forget about the most thing: YOU!
For more advice from Dr Jagroo, head over to her website.