There is something special and beautiful about the pregnant body. It is a wonder and a miracle and during each of my six pregnancies, I often found myself feeling like I was “glowing”. This glow quickly faded in the shadow of my post pregnancy body. What a letdown!
The body that had served me well and brought life to each of my precious children, struggle postpartum. With each consecutive pregnancy, it became more evident that my pelvic floor was weakening. There was a constant feeling of pressure and a feeling that the baby was simply going to drop out while I was pregnant.
TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT EXERCISE AFTER CHILDBIRTH
After my first baby was born I consulted my doctor about recovery options. Thankfully, my case was not considered severe and my doctor assured me that with the proper post pregnancy exercise and care for my body, I would soon feel like myself again (though, I was skeptical that this was even possible).
Doctors recommend that you wait six weeks before resuming exercises after childbirth to allow your body to heal. At six weeks, my condition had not improved and I was anxious to get started. As with everything else in life, I dove in.
SLOW AND EASY IN THE BEGINNING
I have always enjoyed yoga and I eased back into it carefully. My doctor recommended low impact exercises that targeted the core such as Kegel exercises, pelvic tilts, and the plank. I started very slowly with just the Kegel exercises and in a couple of weeks, worked my way to include the others in a ten-minute routine a day.
WALKING IS AN EASY CHOICE
One of my favorite activities to do with my newborn is walking. I just put her in a stroller and head out. Although walking is uncomfortable with a weakened pelvic floor and I had to start with just minutes at a time, my condition did begin to improve after a couple of months of kegel exercises and yoga. I walked slow and gradually built up to a half hour by the time my baby was three months old.
EXERCISES THAT CAN HELP
There are other exercises that can be of great benefit, too. Pilates, stair walking, and swimming are all low impact exercises that are recommended for postpartum. As you advance, spinning is a wonderful way to get back into shape, especially after a postpartum prolapsed.
A LITTLE SUPPORT
Postpartum prolapsed is a when the organs in the pelvis drop because of weakened muscles to hold them in place. Pessary can be used to add support to the pelvic organs when doing certain exercises. This is a removable plastic ring that acts like a brace, holding up the pelvic wall. It can aid in healing and help with the discomfort until you are healed.
WHY EXERCISE AFTER CHILDBIRTH IS IMPORTANT
Finally, when my baby was five months old, I went out for a walk one day and noticed that the discomfort had lessened significantly, my hard work had paid off and I was beginning to heal. It was not the end of my journey and I had to continue to exercise, eat right, and care for myself but my body did return.
For me, the key element to full recovery was hope. Yes, you can get your life and your body back. Be diligent and don’t give up and in the meantime, enjoy your precious little one and your yoga. Time flies and before you know it they’ll be doing yoga with you.