Post-Pregnancy Fitness: What Every New Mom Needs To Know!
So some things moms never really talk about after having a baby as if it’s like “CODE RED,” is the disconnect that you have with your body, especially your core post delivery. I mean it is only natural, you carried a baby for 9 months, the muscles stretch, organs shift, your hips spread and the weight distribution changes accordingly.
I mean I trained over 40 pregnant women before actually experiencing it first hand and it brought light on what was going on internally. You can read it in a text book, teach anatomy classes, and apply the tools, but this is one thing I had to experience first hand to really understand. Coming from someone who is very mind body aware, I had to re-learn how to reconnect with my center and this is not something that happened over night.
This meant A LOT more then doing 100 crunches a day! In fact it, meant I had to take it back ten steps further and learn how to re-engage my transversus abdominis.
What is a diastasis recti?
Two out of every three women get a “diastasis recti,” which is a split in the abdominal wall. The connective tissue, also known as the linea alba overstretches due to the extra abdominal force on the tendon. This causes a split to happen. When this occurs there is a gap in between your rectus abdominis, better known as your “6 pack.” If there is one thing I can STRONGLY encourage you to do is find a medical professional, pre/postnatal specialist to test you BEFORE undergoing any exercise regiment. Why? Because you do not want to exacerbate the condition.
How do I heal this?
How do you heal this? You stay far away from crunches, flexion exercises, planks, push ups or any exercise that puts pressure on this area. Why? Because it needs to heal! This is where the deep breathing, pelvic floor exercises and TVA exercises come into play. Whether you had a baby 5 months ago or 2 years ago this is a great place to start!
What is a transversus abdominis?
You are probably saying, “what is your transversus abdominis?” Well… it is the deepest layer of abdominal tissue that holds in your organs like a girdle. It wraps horizontally around your center and serves as that internal girdle/compression to support the lumbo-pelvic region and spine. When this is disconnected you will more often then not hear women and men complain about chronic lower back pain.
How can I fix this?
My standard protocol with any new mom is to retrain the core, work on firing the stabilizers in balance exercises, unilateral movements where one side of the body has to stabilize while the other one is active. This forces the sides of the body to work independently of each other so that it can level out and regain strength. You see when you work bilaterally all the time you can compensate using muscles that are naturally strong to complete a movement, when you add in the unilateral aspect the body has to learn how to gain strength on both sides in order to not only support the body, but execute/perform the movement properly.
I am sharing this because I am living proof that it can be done and through all of it I feel STRONGER then ever before. Why? Because I was forced to learn how to understand my body on a whole new level and this meant taking a BIG step back to take 10 steps further. The same analogy applies to all aspects of your life. With a little time, patience and rediscovery you can achieve anything.
Watch a little tutorial here: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CuhnU_yMBb_/?igshid=MTc4MmM1YmI2Ng==