The truth is it’s difficult to put everyone in the same boat when giving advice about pregnancy. We’re all made differently and we all encounter our own unique challenges. You may look around and see women who seem to breeze through pregnancy without a single unpleasant symptom. But every mum has her own struggles. So it’s important not to compare your journey to anyone else’s but your own.
It’s exactly the same post-pregnancy. Everyone will deal with motherhood slightly differently because each baby is different. And so it goes that our bodies recover differently too. Here are my top tips for making sure you’re doing the right thing for you.
Don’t underestimate your recovery time
Yes, you may want to jump straight back into the gym, especially if you’ve been exercising throughout your pregnancy, but you will thank yourself later if you just let your body rest and fully recover.
Whether you’ve had a natural delivery or a caesarian, your body has been through a lot. Recovery takes time. It doesn’t mean you have to stay at home and lie in bed all day (unless, of course, your doctor said so). Start moving when you feel ready to. Take the buggy out for walks to meet friends and see how you feel. Sleepless nights with a newborn might be a given, but try and give yourself enough time to sleep when you can, even if it’s during your baby’s midday nap. The body does all its best work when we’re asleep. So it’s essential for your recovery.
Charlie’s tip: You’ll find getting back into exercise so much more enjoyable if you give your body the time it needs to recover. When you look back in a year, 6 weeks will seem like nothing even if it feels like an eternity now. Enjoy this down time with your baby. You’ll be back in the gym in no time at all.
Listen to your body
Whether you were a fitness junkie or just enjoyed the occasional yoga session during your pregnancy, it’s important to listen to your body when you re-introduce your exercise plan. Ease back into it slowly and see what your body feels happy doing. I usually recommend starting off with bodyweight exercises and light cardio. When it starts to feel comfortable, increase your input gradually.
If you’ve had stitches, whether from a caesarian or a natural birth, you may feel that certain exercises will give you a pulling sensation around the scar. It’s best to avoid any movement that causes discomfort. Give your skin the chance to heal and regain its elasticity around the scar.
It’s normal to feel a bit achy after your first few workouts. It’ll take some time before your muscles get back into the swing of things after some time off. But make sure to ease into it steadily or you may find yourself struggling to lift your baby, which is less than ideal as a new mum!
Training with someone is helpful for so many reasons. You have someone to watch your form, keep you motivated and be held accountable to. But most importantly, working out with a friend is so much more fun. If you don’t have access to a trainer, find a friend and take on the challenge together.
Confidence can become a real issue for new mums. Working out with a friend can help make you feel at ease. It’s also handy that there’ll be an extra pair of hands to hold on to your baby while you get fit. Find a nice open space in the park, or push the furniture aside in the living room and get to work.
Bumps & Burpees is a dedicated pre and postnatal space housed within Lomax in Chelsea. Run by a team of professionals, experienced and passionate about helping clients with all aspects of their pregnancy. As a new mum, you can train in your own private space with everything you need to hand.