How to Cope with your Postpartum body
And Yes….. It is completely OK to Pee when you Sneeze, Jump or Cough. More about that later.
When you’re pregnant, everybody loves to tell you about all the life changes; loss of sleep, change in priorities, no alone time, saving accounts, and a slight change in fashion. While all these are true, there are so many things that happen to our body that nobody talks about.
The issue is, when you experience a change in your body, that literally nobody talked about, you can start to think that there’s something wrong.
Maybe all the new mums forgot to mention these facts because they were too sleep deprived.
Realistically, I think there’s an element of shame around these changes…which is just wrong.
Don’t be ashamed of anything about your beautiful self!
Below I have listed some of the very real changes your body will go through after giving birth, and give you little simple tips (which either helped me, or I wish I had known) on how to cope with them.
Diastasis Recti happens
Diastasis Recti after pregnancy is very common.
For those that don’t know, Diastasis Recti is when the muscles separate in your abdominal wall. 3 out of 10 women will experience Diastasis Recti after their first pregnancy, and this number increases with the number of pregnancies.
You know you have Diastasis Recti when, even months after giving birth, you’ll notice that your abdominal muscles just aren’t the same.
You can get your fingers in between the muscles in a gap that didn’t exist before.
All the situps and crunches in the world won’t necessarily help you restore those stomach muscles either.
Apart from postpartum Diastasis recti just generally getting you down, it can lead to back and hip problems too. That squishy muscle gap is a weak spot that your body will try and compensate for.
So, what can you do? How can Diastasis recti be fixed?
Exercise…but exercise mindfully and take it slow.
If you want professional advice, straight from a doctor then take a look at Core Exercise Solutions from Dr Sarah Duvall. I know several people who have incorporated Dr Sarah’s treatment for Diastasis Recti postpartum and have had great results.
Pricey, but it works. Maybe take a look at the free trial and cancel if it’s not what you expected.
If you have Diastasis Recti and want to check how severe the depth is in the gap then take a look at Dr Sarahs video:
Core Exercise Solutions offers a program just for fixing Diastatsis Recti or a more inclusive program tackling many of the issues we face postpartum.
A great system to restore post pregnancy fitness and body shape, which includes.
- Personal help from Dr. Sarah in the secret facebook group.
- Diastasis Fix Program
- Pelvic Floor Program
- Happy Hips + Strong Glutes and Abs
- Posture Perfect
- Banish Back Pain and SI Series
- MomFit – A total body workout progression series that gives you new exercises each month.
Why do i still look pregnant?
This one is a huge psychological kick in the teeth.
2 months after having my first baby, I was asked on more than one occasion “When are you due?”.
When am I due? When am I due!
Im holding a 2 month old baby, clearly I’m not DUE. I’ve had the baby and annoyingly I haven’t “deflated” yet!!!
I mean, a whole human being has been growing inside you, your organs move around, your body builds up necessary fat to support you and the baby…and yet we expect to give birth and look the same instantly?
Well, it’s not like in the movies.
In fact, your stomach might still look pregnant months after giving birth. And you know what else? This is completely okay. It’ll take time for your body to be in a similar place as it was before.
Take a deep breath and accept this.
Of all my friends, those that breast fed seemed to lose the weight quicker. Breast feeding does burn a lot of calories so that certainly helps.
Post pregnancy exercises and a simple postpartum diet could both be helpful, but just remember to not be so hard on yourself.
Remember what your body has just achieved and be proud. You WILL get your shape back.
Your hormones will go through the roof
I just couldn’t understand why I was getting so annoyed with just about everything after giving birth.
I would also cry at anything and often felt very overwhelmed and like a bad mother.
Hormonal changes after pregnancy really put you through it, which can affect your relationship with your baby and your significant other.
It’s hard to deal with, and I can only recommend that you talk to somebody.
I know I felt overwhelmed, fatigued and incredibly fragile. Luckily my other half took the brunt of my emotions and was a real trooper for me.
It passed for me within 2 weeks – some slight baby blues.
If it last longer than that then maybe you’re suffering from Postpartum depression, which is very serious, but you’re not alone.
Don’t be afraid or ashamed to lean on other people for extra help and support.
If you’re feeling isolated, and withdrawing from everyone then recognize the signs ASAP. Make sure your family or partner or friends are all aware that you are struggling and can help you.
Prioritise yourself and your baby. Speak to people and be open about your feelings. If you don’t have a support network close by speak to a professional – do not bottle it up.
The permanent body changes after pregnancy
I hate to break it to you, but your body may have changed forever.
Of course, post pregnancy exercises and diet will help you get back to your pre-baby weight but the weight might be in different places now.
Places droop, other places plump up…other places actually look better.
Remember, change doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
You’ll also more than likely have the odd stretch mark…I mean your body did kind of stretch a bit over those 9 months.
I actually tried a few little home remedies to help with my stretch marks.
Massage with oil, egg white peels, exfoliation and a healthy diet. Failing that I used plenty of Bio Oil – an amazing product.
Whatever little quirks your body now has – accept them – you are now a proud and beautiful mom. Everything you now have in the world is worth it for a few marks and changes in your body. Be proud.
Exercises after delivery
The very pressing question for many women after they have given birth is; “how soon after birth can you exercise?”
The real answer is – it is different for everybody.
Don’t force yourself into doing anything that doesn’t feel natural or comfortable. That being said, you can do Kegel exercises as soon as possible.
Trust me, you won’t be the first mum to pee a little when you jump, sneeze or cough. Lol. You need to build up that pelvic floor.
Start building up the pelvic floor using pelvic floor exercises. If you have the money then again, Core Exercise Solutions offer a fantastic programme which is a great investment in yourself.
Here are a few other exercise to help you on your way.
Every birth story is different, everybody will have different levels of energy, exercise after normal delivery differs to exercise after caesarean birth.
Your goals will also affect which exercises you begin with, for example, post pregnancy exercises to achieve a flat stomach are quite different to exercises that are designed to help with Diastasis Recti.
Back Pain after Birth
Perhaps the most common issue Post Pregnancy and what can be the most prolonged – is back pain.
We have just spent months with a huge bump on the front of our body. All the time compensating physically and coping with the additional weight.
There are answers for back pain though and some great affordable solutions out there.
I put off handling my discomfort for too long, eventually i seeked helped and found a solution that worked for me.
Read my Unlock My Glutes Review here.
What to begin with
Firstly, make sure that you feel that your body is ready, you have enough energy and you are recovering nicely.
Also, be extremely mindful of what your situation is; are you a c-section? Are you breastfeeding? Are you experiencing pain anywhere? Did you have any complications?
If you are unsure then discuss with a medical professional – see what is best for your own unique situation. Trust your body.
The best exercises after giving birth to lose weight, for me, were yoga, long walks, and initially plenty of pelvic floor!
Once a few months had passed I would start with more “normal” routines – Beachbody on demand is a great option for a wide variety of workout programmes.
Definitely check it out if like me your looking for convenience, and not to be stuck on one set of exercise. Beachbody on demand allows you to freshen up your exercise choices.
Things to not do after giving birth
Apart from not hold yourself to unrealistic standards that you see in the movies, there are other certain things you should not do after giving birth.
Some of these are from personal experience, some are tips I followed myself, some are tips I wish I’d known.
## Don’t try to stay awake, your body needs rest, just ignore body clock talk and get your sleep. It’ll sort itself out eventually. Grab sleep and rest when you can as the baby will interrupt your nights for a while.
## Don’t do intense exercise (you will be bleeding, sore and exhausted. Give yourself a break.)
## Don’t go swimming
## Don’t wear tight clothes, wear comfy clothes, even if they’re ugly
## Don’t skip meals
## Don’t lift heavy objects
## Don’t keep it all to yourself. Ask for help and tell people when you’re struggling or feeling down.
How you recover and react, post baby, is a totally individual process.
Your baby is obviously so important at this time, but so are you.
Don’t forget to take the time to address some of the changes you have gone through, in a healthy, mindful manner.
Any concerns or doubts always consult a medical professional, and don’t be afraid to speak to your family, friends and other half.
Trust me – everyone is there to help you at this most magnificent yet often overwhelming time.
Love yourself and your baby x