Time to monitor and modify. Continuing our Mama Talk series on go-to strategies to help moms navigate and interpret the 6-8 week all clear from their doctor to return to fitness. Today, we need to break down the advice doctors often give – “listen to your body”. This is a tricky one….
“Listen To Your Body”
Mamas may think:
- I just had a baby, isn’t some pain to be expected?
- I just had a baby, isn’t some leaking OK?
- I’ve always been athletic, I can play through the pain.
- I’m listening, but I don’t recognize the ‘language’ of my own body anymore!
Let me give you a new way to interpret it:
Monitor And Modify
‘Listen to your body’ isn’t bad advice, mamas just don’t know what to listen for. It’s actually empowering; it keeps you in control and allows you to individualize your path back. How YOUR body responds to an activity, any activity, will be unique to you (see PART ONE).
Learning how to MONITOR (listen) and MODIFY activities that create symptoms will allow you to keep moving while contributing to your recovery and helping you PREPARE to return to unlimited fitness (see PART TWO).
Things to MONITOR for:
- Sharper pain in the joints (workout soreness in the middle of the muscles is OK)
- Pain that lingers and isn’t improving in 36-48 hours
- Pelvic pressure (pain in the vagina)
- Diastasis doming
LISTEN to what is creating those symptoms and MODIFY! Here’s an example for those of you who lift!
Low back pain or leaks with a deadlift at your CF Box?
- Try a smaller range of motion: Lift off of an elevated surface or simply use dumbbells from the knees to your waist)
- Deload: Try with a lighter weight
- Check your form: Compare to pre-pregnancy lift patterns-see PART ONE
- Don’t go for speed or volume to start: Do a few, see how you feel.
- Check that you are breathing through a submax load to avoid high intra-abdominal pressures
If MODIFICATIONS don’t alleviate the symptom, wait.
YOUR unique body may be telling you it is not quite ready for that challenge, time to LISTEN. Consider how to break it down to PREPARE (see PART TWO) and build back to trying again in a few weeks. It’s not off the table, you may just need a little more time. Stick with activities that feel great and keep you moving while you wait.
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