The most important recovery to do before working out again after baby

postpartum recovery exercise mother

If you’re a mother, you have asked the question, “When can I start working out again?”.

 

As many of us are mothers ourselves here at LIKEAGLOVE and have worked in the fitness & wellness industries for years, we’ve asked and been asked this question a lot from other mothers, especially new moms over the years.

 

First off, the answer is always the same. It depends. I know! The last thing you want to read right now is some vague answer to this important burning question. 

postpartum recovery exercise mother

Let’s go through this together. 

 

First off, each birth is unique and every person’s body experiences and reacts differently to birth and motherhood. 

 

When recovering, we recommend speaking to and working with these two extremely informative professionals: 

 

A physiotherapist who specialises in pelvic floor rehabilitation and;

 

A chiropractor who specialises in working with pre- and postpartum mothers.

 

postpartum recovery exercise mother

 

We are researchers by nature and asked these professionals many questions about why we should listen to them to slowly resume our regular workout regime of weightlifting, running, pilates, and really all sorts of exercise and movement. 

 

Although there were many important factors we talked about in terms of when to start working out again (including sleep and nutrition) the most important foundational areas are your pelvic floor muscles. 

 

This turned out to be the most surprising, fundamental and frustrating part of getting back to exercising again. Few people are made aware of its importance and even fewer still get the proper healing required after birth. 

 

We asked both of these professionals why this is so important. In short, there are many muscles important for proper movement and function, both internally and externally, that are either in the pelvic floor, or attach from the pelvis. 

 

The pelvic floor is a hammock of muscles that support your pelvis, back, and some of your internal organs. These muscles relax during pregnancy and need to be rehabilitated after birth. Like all journeys, they are individual and vary per person. 

 

We have all been told to do our kegels but the benefit of working with a physiotherapist trained in pelvic floor rehab and a proper chiropractor is that you can get the exercises and therapy completely tailored to you, your needs, and where you are in your healing. 

postpartum recovery exercise mother

 

By properly rehabilitating and strengthening your pelvic floor you are laying the groundwork to strengthen all your other muscles and movements.

 

We also asked what happens if we don’t do this work for our pelvic floors. The answer is that if you start exercising without a strong and recovered pelvic floor, it is like building a house on an unstable foundation. You can do it, but you can be sure it’s going to lead to issues down the road. 

 

postpartum recovery exercise mother

When the pelvic floor is weak it means the muscles are not firing properly, and sometimes in areas the muscles are not firing at all. It leads to forcing other muscles to fire and engage instead, compensating for the problem. Your body is able to still perform the movements, but without properly engaging the right muscles from the start, it leads to putting too much strain on the compensating muscles. It can take time, but down the road you will have pain and injury. 

 

Taking the time to ensure the small muscles in the pelvis and core are strong and firing takes time. And it is not always fun. But the longer you wait to start the process, the more difficult it is to do. Your compensating muscles get stuck in their ways and it takes more effort to cognitively decipher what muscles are firing and what ones are not to rewire the muscle memory pathways in our brain. 

 

postpartum recovery exercise mother

 

Why do you need a chiropractor? Sometimes our body has shifted to a degree of needing assistance to realign your spine and pelvis. In our experience, combining the two together, can really accelerate and increase the quality of your results!

 

Our recommendation?

  1. Go to a great physiotherapist and chiropractor who are trained in pelvic floor and postpartum rehabilitation today,
  2. No matter where you are after having a baby, and
  3. Work towards good body mechanics for years to come!

 

 

 

 

 

** The opinions and exercises shared in this article are from one of our regular contributing authors and are not to replace the advice and guidance from a licensed practitioner. Be safe. Talk to your doctor before any changes to your diet and exercise regime.

 

 


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