This week I spent some time talking to mamas about the return to fitness after pregnancy. It was an awesome remote opportunity created by Claris Health here in Los Angeles to share some ideas on how to interpret and navigate that ‘all clear’ from their doctors at 6-8 weeks after delivery. I love listening and talking to mamas; Q and A is always the best part!
Every Path Is Different
One of the most important things I tried to communicate is that every mama’s path through pregnancy and delivery is different. Some had an easy pregnancy; while others had a lot of physical struggles. Some had a vaginal delivery and others a c-section. Everyone’s story is different, so the path back to recovery and fitness is going to be different. A one size fits all, just-do-these-standard-5 exercises won’t cut it.
We All Adapt
What all pregnancy stories have in common, however, is that how moms use their body, and all of their muscles (not just abdominal muscles) change over those 9 months. These changes aren’t bad, they are necessary to grow a human and continue to move. The adaptions and new movement habits made sense and were efficient for a pregnant body. However, they no longer make sense for a postpartum one. So our goals must move beyond just getting strong again. Instead we can use our return to fitness as our opportunity to recreate strength AND restore movement habits and patterns that use those muscles in efficient ways that make sense for a post-pregnancy body. Let’s adapt again.
COMPARE YOU TO YOU.
A great way to do this is to watch old videos of how you ran or walked or lifted before you had your baby. Compare them to how you are performing these activities now. Use your own baseline movements as YOUR individualized template to mimic as you restore and return to fitness now. Particularly if you used to run, walk, and lift without pain or leaks. If you had symptoms even before pregnancy or still have them as you try to get back to it, check-in with a pro to help you check your form, strategies and figure out an individualized plan. I have a great list on my site of pros that have taken my courses (check the Find-a Pro tab on my site).
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