5 Top Tips for Postnatal Return To Exercise

When ladies come to me for a post natal progarmme or Holistic Core Restore(R) pelvic floor and core programme I hear a lot of ‘I didn’t know that!’

So here it is, but first a little bit about me and why I chose this path in women’s health, fitness and wellness.

I noticed changes to my body after having my first child but were far noticeable after my second. It was much harder to get back into shape. I was doing the usual exercises that I thought would help reduce my mum tum, with crunches, Russian twists you name it! But! I noticed something very different and couldn’t at that time work out what was going on! My tummy was doming and it was a pretty obvious dome every time I did a sit up! At the time I passed it off as normal as I just had a baby, so carried on with my home exercise DVD’s and joined a few group classes.

I noticed changes when jumping on our new trampoline, having had 2 C- Section deliveries I thought my pelvic floor would not be affected, this got me thinking more as to why I was getting these problems and what can be done about it!

I trained to be a Personal Trainer, taking the specialist route in women’s health and fitness. Became certified in a basic ante/postnatal exercises course then onto the advanced post-natal exercise course. I was amazed with all the information, a lot of oooh and aaah moments and ‘oh that explains A LOT’!! I noticed the post-natal return to fitness phase was a bit of a grey area, and wanted to help women with the knowledge that I have gained through my studies and now years of experience working with women in this life phase.

Then I discovered Holistic Core Restore(R), well that was it, I couldn’t wait to become a coach, joining this fantastic team to help women with a choice of pelvic floor and core recovery programmes, provided by programme creator Jenny Burrell, Clinician Michelle Lyons and linking up to our local women’s health physio is the perfect addition to what I provide women.

So I am proud to share with you some very valuable tips on returning to exercise after having a baby.

Planning on returning or starting exercise after having a baby can be daunting! Firstly there should be no immediate rush into exercise to bounce back to that pre-pregnancy body! It takes time to heal and with time we need to look at building the foundations to get the body working as it should from the inside out with the right tools and information for fitness, health and well-being.

Here are some top tips to help build your confidence!

  1. 6- 8 week check, this should include Diastasis Recti (ab separation) check, Pelvic Floor check / C-Section/ scar check!
  2. Even with clearance to exercise it doesn’t always mean rushing back to exercises we did prior to pregnancy with high impact exercises, planks, Russian twists, crunches.
  3. Highly recommend seeing a women’s health physio for a full pelvic floor and core check up. This is more in depth for Pelvic Floor weakness/tightness, prolapse and diastasis recti. Knowing where you are in your recovery process means you are armed with the right information with which exercises you can participate in.
  4. Find a qualified postnatal Personal Trainer,  fitness instructor or Holistic Core Restore (R) Coach who is qualified in post- natal health and fitness, who provide pelvic floor and core friendly exercises.
  5.  Before commencing exercise an in depth post- natal pelvic floor and core pre-screen will be required before starting any exercises, along with an abdominal check for diastasis and posture check which should be provided in their consultation, this is vital to help you in your post-natal recovery, highlighting any red flags with a great referral system in place or adapting exercises according to the individual, as not everyone will experience similar symptoms. Symptoms can range from diastasis recti (ab separation) with tummy doming to leaking due to a weak or tight pelvic floor, prolapse, bladder or faecal incontinence.

C-section recovery is a longer process so don’t feel rushed into exercise! Walking, scar tissue massage and great nutrition are a brilliant starting point!

Leaking is common, but it’s not normal, tummy doming is not normal, and shouldn’t be considered the norm just because women had babies, there is help at hand, visit your GP or Women’s health physio, see how Holistic Core Restore (R) foundation programmes can help you as a stepping stone back into fitness.

Arlette’s Fitness Proud to be advanced post natal qualified personal trainer and your local Holistic Core Restore (R) Coach for Newport Pagnell and Milton Keynes.

A very tired Arlette and a very excited sister to be, only a few weeks before little one arrived!

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