So, the baby has arrived, and you look down at your belly and you think you still look pregnant. Your belly doesn’t miraculously go flat as a pancake straight after giving birth. Firstly, the uterus has not shrunk and secondly you need to allow time for your abdominals to rehabilitate.
After the child birth the post-natal body recovers naturally to extent, however it probably needs a little helping hand to regain pre-baby strength, tone and posture. There is no doubt exercising whilst pregnant will assist the speed of the rehabilitation. It is vital to know you need to “walk before you can run” and to work the body from the inside out. With this in mind, here are some of the most important life lessons I learnt from experience when it comes to post-natal bodies- they ultimately aim to help you show yourselves and the skin you’re in a little more kindness, respect and love.
- MINDFUL MOVEMENT
Mould your training regime on the the one during your late second and third trimester is advisable. I have had many women coming to me after training with someone without post-natal training experience. The results can be catastrophic for some women! Examples include damage to the joints and pelvis, increased abdominal separation (diastasis), and damaged pelvic floors to name a few.
Please, please ladies DO NOT come out of hospital and try and do hundreds of sit-ups— no, no, no! This can potentially cause permanent separation of the abdominals and in turn will make you look pregnant permanently. Please get expert advice after your 6 week check-up and concentrate on placing emphasis on the core which includes your pelvic floor. This doesn’t mean do full planks- also a no, no. Remember your body has gone through extreme changes over the nine months and it takes time to recover from this, whether it was a C-section or a natural birth.
- KINDNESS IS KEY
Please ladies be kind to yourself. You have just created and carried a beautiful baby. So clever!!
So our abdominals have been stretched to the limit, we may have a little jelly belly, thighs and booty to rival Kim Kardashian and Beyonce oh not to mention Dolly Parton breasts! The extra fat is nature’s way of protecting our body; it gives us extra energy to breast feed our babies. Dieting is no fun and it’s not a great idea to start crash dieting whilst trying to nurture your new born. A healthy balanced diet, lots of water and walks with the baby are a great start. Don’t be surprised if you stay in your PJs for a week and don’t leave the house. This is very normal. Savour your time with your baby. If you are anything like me you will be lying beside your baby staring at them for hours!
- DROP THE PRESSURE + FOLLOW YOUR INTUITION
It’s so important to listen to your body. Eat when you are hungry and don’t feel pressure to shed the baby weight in a few weeks. Not even Victoria Beckham was in her size zero jeans in a week!
You will no doubt get the “baby blues” at some point and want to comfort eat or hibernate. The way forward is try and get into a form of routine and edge your way back into the real world and out of the baby bubble. Every woman is different, so try not to compare yourself with others, this only adds more pressure. Do what’s right for you and your family. You will need your 6 week check-up before you join a class, however going for walks can do wonders before then!
- QUIT COMPARING
Try not to read 100 books,1000 blogs and listen to the old lady on the street! You are a natural mother and you will have your own maternal instincts! TMI (too much information) may confuse and upset you.
No doubt once you start to exercise again you will gain more confidence and experience a boost in self-esteem and well-being as exercise releases all those lovely feel good hormones. Not to mention the steady shed of the extra pounds you gained.
We have done such a brilliant job carrying our babies and caring for them, so let’s not be tempted to be hard on ourselves by joining the race to see who can get the thinnest the quickest! You will see the celebrity yummy mummies or gorgeous images of “Insta Famous”mums looking like a Hot Mamma and less bedraggled, tubby, exhausted post-natal mummy.
You don’t know what lies behind those images and we all know the celebs have a team of assistants, stylists, nutritionists, chefs, plastic surgeons, Baby Whisperers, Sleep Experts, PTs day nannies, night nannies on speed dial.
- CELEBRATE YOUR LITTLE MIRACLE
Now back in the real world, let’s allow up to a year to feel normal again inside and out. So you may pee your pants when jumping on the trampoline with your kids or you may bend down and see foreign wrinkles and stretch marks. Yes, our bodies will change after children, but what small price to pay for a wonderful bundle of joy that your child is. Now that you cannot replace not even a teeny- weeny bikini!
Paola and her team offer expert advice and Pre/Post Natal Training privately and in small groups. Antenatal workshops and PBBabyBarre and Pilates classes in Paola’s BodyBarre Fulham. www.paolasbodybarre.com firstname.lastname@example.org
To receive 10% off LulaBaby Antenatal classes quote PBBaby.