I want my pre-baby body back
I got the 6 week OK at my doctors postnatal check up so now I can go back to exercise. WRONG.
I know, I thought that the six week doctor check up meant that I could go back to my pre-baby workouts. Ha ha ha, boy was I wrong. Lucky for me I had an excellent and informed personal trainer and learning myself to be one so I didn't do any damage to my body. Going hard and fast after the birth of your baby is going to cause you more long term damage than you realise.
The 6 week check up is to let you know you how your going and if you may begin controlled exercise again. What this means is that you need to begin re-training your internal muscles such as pelvic floor muscles and abdominal muscles (not sit ups) to build back and support your internal organs to be able to handle another baby or to do exercise again without little pee accidents.
I always took pride in having good pelvic floor muscles before my baby and was sure as hell going to make sure I got them back after my baby, which I did, so I could sneeze, laugh and cough without peeing. Good thing I didn’t listen to the lazy people that never did their pelvic floor exercises and think it’s normal to pee a little when laughing, jumping, sneezing etc. These muscles can be strengthened.
While you are re-training your muscles after 6 weeks you may also begin body weight exercises, yoga, pilates etc. Your body during and after a baby has relaxin (a hormone) released to help the pelvis separate at birth. What this means is that it weakens your joints and ligaments so if you lift something heavy (weights, furniture, rubbish etc) or incorrectly you are at high risk of injury. This relaxin is present in your body for approximately 6 months after birth and longer if you are breastfeeding.
If you are SO concerned with the way you look because of what you think society thinks you should look like and you go to an aerobic class or gym without knowledgeable postnatal trainers, when you start lifting heavy or jumping around just imagine the stress your intestines, stomach, bladder etc are doing pushing down on your pelvic muscles.
Your body went through an amazing 9 months growth period, give your body 9 months to recovery. You don’t stretch a rubber band for 9 months and expect it to spring back to normal so don’t expect that of your body.
Don’t be discouraged if your abs separated, they will go back together, it just may take a little while longer. Appreciate your body, eat healthy, exercise correctly and you will be looking and feeling great before you know it and all before you need to run after your toddler or jump on the trampoline with him.
Accept your new body, stretch marks, scars, saggier boobs, wider hips, everything in its glory. You made a human so changes are inevitable.