¿How to get back in shape after childbirth?

Por Estela Lopez

When the big news of pregnancy arrives, we start trying to guess what the next 9 months will be like: how the baby will develop, how the body will change and, above all, what the birth will be like. With the intention that everything will go as well as possible, we tend to read and inform ourselves as much as possible in order to be prepared for the big day. It seems that childbirth is the final goal of this great maternal career and that’s where it all ends, but… how confused we are! In reality, that’s where it all begins!

Postpartum is the great forgotten and yet we must pay close attention to this stage if we want to fully recover once our baby is born. Both pregnancy and childbirth itself involve a great bodily change at many levels and a risk to certain structures such as the abdomen, pelvic floor and lower back, especially. If we do not make a good recovery of this abdomino-pelvic-perineal complex, we may end up suffering short or long term pathologies such as urinary incontinence, prolapse, diastasis, back pain, etc..

Although each case is particular, and the ideal would be to receive a good personalized assessment, in general terms, it is necessary to wait 6-8 weeks to start doing, progressively, more dynamic exercises, of intensity, or to recover our usual sports practice. What we must keep in mind is that we will not perform exercises that involve an impact on our pelvic floor, and this is sports such as running, jumping, dancing, bouncing, making sudden changes of pace or position as we do when practicing paddle tennis, tennis and similar practices. However, it is important to do a good preventive work. This is why it is essential to do adapted physical activity during pregnancy. If we do exercises to maintain the muscle tone of our abdomen, our pelvic floor and our body in general, we will get these muscles to be active effectively and early when we give birth.

And not only that, if we also learn guidelines for postural hygiene and body management in the face of effort, we will prevent gestures such as picking up the baby, getting up with him in our arms, holding the carrycot, etc., from harming us. This is not easy because we repeat it many times throughout the day and, as we tend to prioritize the baby, we forget what is happening in us when we make these movements. These are efforts that increase the pressure inside our abdomen and cause a push on our pelvic floor if we do not do it correctly. It is important to stop for a moment to feel what happens in these areas of the body and try to correct the practice if what we feel is that our abdomen is pushed outward or our perineum downward.

Although there are many nuances to this correction, I propose something simple if this is your case and you are reading this: release the air a couple of seconds before making the effort to reduce that internal pressure and allow the muscles that will cushion it to activate. Practice it often and you will soon notice the difference.

 

Little things like this are what you may already have integrated if you have been working on it during the months prior to delivery. So, if you are pregnant now, don’t hesitate to find a way to do exercises that are right for you with the help of a professional to guide you. You’ll feel agile and active during pregnancy, and you’ll notice the benefits during the postpartum period. And, if your pregnancy is over, I hope you are already dedicating a small part of your day to yourself so you can recover as soon as you deserve. 

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