What You Should Know About Your Post-Baby Body

 a standing woman in workout clothes

Words By: Margaret Galang, YMF Founder

Let’s be straight up here – once you’ve had kids, your body is just never the same again! Am I right? You really can’t get away with growing a little human inside your body for 9 months and expect it to not have some effect on the body. It’s important to remember this when you’re wanting to get back into exercise, as some things will have definitely changed. Here are 3 common physical changes that can occur after pregnancy and what you can do about it.

PELVIC FLOOR

Gone are the days where you can run and jump freely without having to worry about where the nearest toilet is! Whilst you can’t fully reverse the weaknesses that occur postnatal, you can make them a little stronger. How? Do your Kegel’s. Squeeze your pelvic floor (like you’re trying to stop your wee) and hold for 5-10 seconds. Do this 10 times, around 2-3 times a day. An easy way to remember to do this is when you’re at traffic lights – every time you get a red light, do a set of Kegel’s!

CORE

Ab separation is very common postnatal. Some get only a minor separation that naturally comes back together while others get major separation that requires physio treatment or even surgery. Ab separation can cause lower back pain, pelvic pain and instability. Rehab exercises to fix ab separation involves strengthening and activating your transverse abdominals (TA) which is the muscle responsible for supporting the lower back and mid-section. Think of the TA as a corset around your mid-section, the tighter it is, the more support it will give. Aside from doing specific TA activation exercises recommended by a physio, something you can aim to do as often as possible is to stand nice and tall, and draw your belly button in and slightly upwards. Keep this engaged position as often as you can, which will keep your TA activated (providing you with your ‘corset’ of support).

PELVIC STABILITY

During pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin softens the ligaments around the pelvis. This is a natural process but for some women, the process goes wrong and causes hip instability or brings the hips out of alignment. This then causes strain and pain in other referring areas. It’s important to not do any high impact exercises, or any exercises where your weight is distributed unevenly e.g. lunges. Also, keep your TA activated, like we recommend above, to help keep your hips supported. If you think you have pelvic stability issues, a physio will be able to diagnose and provide treatment options.

Regular exercise and resistance training can strengthen the body and help us deal better with the physical changes from pregnancy. If you’re a new mum just starting out, it would be beneficial to talk to a qualified and experienced trainer that specialises in post-natal fitness. As you can see, our body is just not the same as it used to be, so more care is needed to ensure you’re training correctly to avoid injuries or further damage. If you would like some advice on the best way to start exercising, get in touch with us via email info@yummymummyfitness.com.au or give us a call on 0422189345.

Margaret Galang