We are joined by Jami from LOVAstyle today to help us learn how to safely get our pre-baby body back! Here is a run down of all the great posts in this series!
- Series Index
- Making Mommy April Challenge: Abs Every Day
- Making Mommy – Guest Post: Regaining Your Pre Baby Body
- Making Mommy – Guest Post: Posture Tips
- Making Mommy April Challenge: Update!
- Making Mommy – Guest Post: Pilates Mat Work (part 1)
- Making Mommy – Guest Post: Pilates Mat Work (part 2)
- Making Mommy April Challenge: Wrap Up!
Pre-Baby Body is Achievable – Part 1
Congratulations on your new baby. I know this is an exciting time for you and your family. It can also be a little stressful. Not only are new mothers emotionally adapting to the change in their family dynamics but the body is in the process of healing from giving birth. As many postpartum mothers, you may experience extreme mood swings as well as the desire to have your “pre-baby” body back. Getting your body is greatly achievable but it will take time along with some dedicated work.
I am excited to be a part of Sarah’s personal challenge by guesting on her blog. I hope you find the information I provide valuable to you as well. Pilates is a fabulous way to strengthen your abdominals but there are a couple of things to consider before you begin.
· Keep communications open with your doctor. Many medical professionals have different views on how soon to begin working out. The six week guideline to resume/begin an exercise program is just that….a guideline. This is mainly because the uterus takes about six weeks to heal after giving birth. So it is very important to take whatever exercise you perform with caution. Don’t push yourself.
· During pregnancy your abdominal muscles stretch over 50% of their original length. Due to this stretching many women may have what is called diastasis recti. This is when the rectus abdominus, the muscle that gives the six pack look, becomes separated into two right and left halves. If you have diastasis recti, it is very important to allow the muscle to completely heal before performing the following core exercises that contain the following movement patterns.
o Flexing of the abdominals such as crunches, and rolling up movements and other traditional type of abdominal exercises.
o Any twisting or rotation of the torso.
o Planking or Push Up positions.
So where to begin…There are two important areas to initially focus on, the pelvic floor and the transversus abdominus. These are the foundation to your recovery and obtaining your pre-baby body. The pelvic floor is the muscle group that forms a diamond between the sit bones, tail bone and pubic bone. It acts like a hammock. The pelvic floor is often neglected but is extremely important. During pregnancy it supports the weight of a growing baby and belly. The transverse abdominus the inner most layer of your abdominals. It acts like a corset. This muscle runs around your lower torso and attaches to the spine. Engaging and working this muscle is a primary Pilates focus and will give you the flat belly you are looking for.
Here is how to work these muscle groups:
o Strengthening the pelvic floor is also referred to as performing Kegels. To find your pelvic floor, contract the muscles around the urethra or think of holding the flow of urine. Work on contacting this muscle group 10 times a day. After you have mastered that, then it is time to work on the endurance of the muscle group. To do this contract the pelvic floor and hold for a count of 25. Do this 5 times. Now imagine that pelvic floor is an elevator. Contract the muscle group then focus on the feeling of pulling it upward towards your belly button. Continue to imagine the pelvic floor returning to the ground floor. The bladder should be empty while performing these exercises.
o Engaging the transverse abdominus from a Pilates perspective is the foundation of moving from the core or Powerhouse. To find this muscle, lie on your back with your knees bent, feet firmly on the floor. Pull your navel into your spine and up into your rib cage. You will feel a wrapping around towards your back and contraction in the lower abdominals.
Face it, as a new mom resting and recuperating are just not going to happen. Mothers are active creatures, we sit, then stand, load and unload the baby in and out of cribs, cars, swings you name it. As you move to stand or lift your baby engage your pelvic floor and lift your abs “in and up”. During diaper changes and feedings are some great opportunities to work the pelvic floor and transverse abdominus muscles.
Remember be patient and give it time. In the end your body will in the best shape ever! Tune in next week, I will give some pointers on stretching and also focus on regaining your posture.