Feeling stir crazy?
Weird in your body?
Wanting to feel strong and energetic?
I hear you.
It's so strange to experience pregnancy and childbirth with their MASSIVE impact on the shape, strength, and function of your body.
I talk to lots of women who are itching to feel strong again and are chomping at the bit to get to the 6 week point so that they can start exercising again.
And your doctor or midwife will likely give you the go ahead.
The thing is, you might not want to jump right back in to what you were up to before you got pregnant. You might not even want to do what you were doing in the middle of your pregnancy.
It's really easy to pay attention to the health professional who says you have the go ahead to exercise even if when you check in with your body, it tells you something different.
Please pay attention to how your body feels, no matter what you are told by a health professional.
You are probably familiar with the story, but if you aren't here's a recap. It's about a Hare who ridicules a slow-moving Tortoise. Tired of the Hare's arrogant behaviour, the Tortoise challenges him to a race. The hare is fast, soon leaving the tortoise behind and, confident of winning, takes a nap midway through the race. But when the Hare awakes, he realizes that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, has arrived before him.
In post-partum the hare pushes hard and fast and then starts to realize that her body is developing some issues. Maybe she leaks urine halfway through her exercise or she is super exhausted the next day (hence the sleep). Sometimes the hare ends up injuring herself or creating issues that weren't there when she started. Which really sucks especially when what you wanted was to feel great. It is so discouraging to experience set backs.
While getting strong and stable after childbirth isn't a race and each one of us will take the amount of time we take. If you want to feel great faster, slow down. Don't stop from fear of hurting yourself, cause that won't get you anywhere, but a slow steady pace that starts with the foundation of breath and coordinating your deep core system and progresses to releasing, strengthening and developing a balanced musculature around your hips, ankles, feet and shoulders will get you to where you want to be reliably and as quickly as possible.
A good mantra for this is,
"Less more often"
You will get stronger faster on the less more often program. Instead of doing an hour of exercise once a week, try for 15 minutes a day or even 3x a week. The more often you do a manageable amount of movement the faster your body will adapt.
If we take the example of walking, it could look like this.
Start with small frequent walks, not carrying anything, travelling a moderate pace. Log how far you went (this can be approximate distance or time) and then how you felt, during and after.
If it felt good during and after. There was no leaking, exhaustion, bleeding (heavier or starting again), heaviness or rubbing in your vagina then you can progress the movement a little bit.
Progression could be any one of these things.
1. Keep the length and carry something light.
2. Keep the length and walk faster.
3. Keep the length and push a stroller.
4. Increase the length a bit, without carrying anything and going a moderate pace.
5. Do the same length but more often in your day or week.
Then record what you did and how it felt during and after. Keep that new level for awhile and then progress it again.
If you have some warning signs that what you did was too much, back off a bit and maintain a symptom free amount for awhile before you make it harder again.
Less more often will get you there the fastest and the most reliably.
If you want some help with coordinating your breath and your deep core system, and progressing through a less more often model of strength training there are a few ways you can get that.
I am building a small bite sized course about breath and the pelvic floor. It will be an affordable, doable way to get started. You can drop me your email here and I'll keep you updated on it's progress and when it is ready.
Or you can have a look around on other parts of my website by exploring the tabs at the top of this page to learn more about me and what kind of packages I offer for working with me individually.
To exploration and curiosity and Mom Body Love,
Donyne works with moms just like you to get them connected to their body and overcome pain, leaking and instability, so they can finally do the fun things they want to. She works with people in person in the Comox Valley, British Columbia and online all over the world.