You’ve spent 9 months growing your bub, you are now 6 weeks postpartum and visit your GP or specialist to get the “all clear”, the big tick of approval that signifies that you are back to “normal” and that your body is fully recovered - just like magic 🪄 Some mums can hear the gym calling 👟
I hate to burst your bubble but unfortunately it’s not that easy……. (how good would it be though)!
Did you know that it can take a woman’s body up to 2 years to fully recover from child birth?
After nine months of carrying around extra weight from your growing baby. This increased load (and hormonal changes) can alter the integrity of the pelvic floor; it can be weakened or stretched. Joints will be compromised and abdominals will have stretched like a rubber band and what happens when a rubber band has been stretched? It gets weaker. Not to mention back pain and postual changes.
Pelvic floor and abdominal health are not thoroughly checked at your 6 week check.
Only a Women’s Health Physiotherapist can properly assess both these considerations but sadly a complimentary physio appointment is not currently part of the postpartum care package in Australia nor is it encouraged.
But don’t be disheartened. Despite the illusive 6-week check not being the “green light” to return to your pre baby exercise routine. There is hope and lots of it!
The great thing is, just like any other injury, your postpartum body can be rehabilitated (woohoo) and believe me, it wants you to! A strong body will make daily tasks and the demands of daily life so much easier. Not to mention the awesome benefits physical activity has on mental and emotional well-being.
At present new mums are not advised to rehabilitate their postpartum body by either their health or fitness professionals nor are they made aware of the risks of skipping this critical step or alternately, including it. There is little to no guidance given. Comments like - “make sure you do your pelvic floor exercises”and “yeah, it’s normal to leak after having children” are thrown around freely along with “have you had your 6 week check”?
Really?! Is that all we’ve got for our new mums?
Every mum should be educated about their changed body and be given safe return to exercise guidelines.
Two take aways -
Fitness Professionals should be doing better.
Mums to be and mums of all ages - your 6-week check is not the “green light” to return to your pre baby exercise. Visit a Women’s Health Physiotherapist and find yourself a Fitness Professional that is qualified to look after women and mums - find a MumSafe™ Trainer in your area - www.mumsafe.com.au
Mums, you’ve birthed a tiny human, you deserve more. You deserve to feel comfortable, confident and strong again. Building good foundations now will set you up for success well into the future.