After giving birth to your baby, life certainly looks different. You may feel pressured to get back to your regular fitness regime for your body shape right away. And I get it! Sometimes it's hard to be patient and, most importantly, realistic about it.
Although it's good to get back to working out, keep one thing in mind: whether your labor was fast, long, or surgical, your body did go through a massive change and pushing yourself before you are ready can do more harm than good.
Here are 5 mistakes I made as a new mom in “return to fitness journey” that I don’t want you to repeat
1. Thinking I can bounce back to my pre-pregnancy fitness routine without first healing my core and pelvic floor
Within 3 months of childbirth I was back on stage and in the gym lifting weights and I immediately faced urine leakage and diastasis recti (ab separation). It was a way for my body to tell me it needed time to heal the right way by first giving time to build a strong foundation (read as rebuilding and activating my core from within)
2. Not breathing correctly for quick healing
It took me 6 months of undergoing a rigorous international pre-postntal certification to understand the “connection breath technique” a must for all new moms. Simply put its like a combination of Diagphragmatic breathing +belly breathing all while doing a kegel where instead of squeezing we lift the pelvic floor on every breath out and release on breath in. This was so simple yet so effective in healing my deep core and pelvic floor.
3. Not heeding my posture which resulted in worsening my back pain and tail bone pain. The easiest way to start working on the deep core( most affected during pregnancy )is to be aware of how you stand, sit, pick up your child or even get in and out of bed. The secret is with “core engagement” which you can easily learn with specialised core rehab exercises like the dead bugs, glute bridges, bird dogs. After a year of suffering and then finally self healing I decided to make an entire module on Posture correction in my 6 week postnatal program Mom.Bod.Strong to help other moms to live a pain free active motherhood. Know more here: https://www.suchetapalofficial.com/mom-bod-strong
4. I thought sit ups, crunches and planks would flatten my tummy!
And now that I am a certified pre-postnatal coach I do not recommend any of these exercise with spinal flexion to my Mom.Bod.Strong clients without first working on strengthening the deep abdominals (Transverse abdominus). Infact the biggest mistake one can do to worsen the belly bulge is do crunches or planks as it only works on the 6 pack abs and can actually make your Diastasis recti worse. But can you progress to these movements eventually. Absolutely yes!
5. Underestimating the power of 7-8 hours sleep in supporting my fitness journey.
No matter how much I worked out in my initial days as a new mom, my body seemed to not respond. Now in “real” motherhood you finally start getting more than 4 hours of sleep only after a year if you are lucky and that’s when things sped up. Sleep for body recovery is highly underestimated but is a game changer.
The best advice I can give you is to stop comparing yourself with other women on social media because your postpartum journey is uniquely yours. Recovery can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months to 3years even. Just take baby steps (pun intended) and celebrate the small wins. Remember you are doing amazing at every step.