Sunday, 9 December 2018

My Post Baby Body

Over three months have passed since the birth of my baby boy Albee, and my body doesn't look like it did before, which is to be expected. It took me nine months to grow him, so, I can hardly expect my body to bounce back to how it was pre-pregnancy. I am slightly wider than I was before, certainly a lot less toned and my core strength is pretty none existent. All of which are very normal things to feel postpartum. 

During my pregnancy, I had all of these big ideas of exercising straight away, getting my abs back after a month and feeling amazing in a bikini again. Well, I am sure any new moms will tell you these big ideas are entirely unrealistic. The reality is; I have surfed once, been to the gym twice, had two at home pilates sessions and do not feel great in a bikini. I'm not exercising every day or surfing a few times a week, but guess what ... that is ok! 

Once upon a time, I would beat myself up if I hadn't gone to the gym 3 times a week or feel guilty if I hadn't surfed in a month but now my priorities are very different. Not only because I have Albee in my life but also, because I have removed any pressure that I had before. Pressure to look a certain way, the pressure to be busy exercising and eating clean. For the first time in my life, I am on the go slow, and I love it, doing things on my terms (when Albee allows of course) and telling my number one critic aka myself to shut up. 

Postpartum Exercising 

My first time back in the gym and my first surf filled me with a lot of dread with just a sprinkling of excitement. I had built them both up to something so big that on both occasions I actually had butterflies in my stomach. Silly, I know but anyone who has taken a break away from something they once did every day will understand the feelings. But, I patiently waited until I felt ready to go back to the gym and chose a small, calm day for my first surf. I took my big surfboard out to make it easier to catch waves and set myself a light cardio and interval training session to ease myself back into gym life and much to my joy I caught waves and didn't pass out on the cross-trainer! I was in fact far fitter than I thought. 

Thankfully I had no abdominal separation and didn't have to recover from a c-section meaning my transition back into exercising was in fact relatively easy, all be it took longer than I initially thought it would. It really wasn't such a big deal, and if I have any advice to give any new moms who are eager to get back to the gym, in the surf or doing any form of sport/exercise, it would be this. Don't put pressure on yourself to be able to do what you did before and go at your own pace. Just because one mum on Instagram is smashing daily gym sessions just weeks after having a baby doesn't mean you have to as well. Go at your own pace, set your personal goals and above all listen to your body. We all recovery differently and what one woman may struggle with another may not. Be proud of your body and how far you've come because you're bloody awesome! 

My Tips For Postpartum Excising 

Chat with your doctor 

I had some concerns about my pelvic floor and ended up going to the doctor for an examination. It really put my mind at ease, and they gave the go-ahead to exercise. So, don't put things off, just as a professional and put your mind at ease. 

See a women's health physio 

If you're like me and you've just had or are about to have your first child, then you won't have a clue what your body is supposed to feel or look like, which is where a women's health physio comes in. It was around 6-8 weeks when my friend Jenny Chancellor (Physio and Pilates Instructor) came to my house, to not only see Albee but to also check on my recovery. She was able to confirm that my abdominals had healed meaning I could begin light exercise. I am also booked in for a New Mum MOT in a couple of weeks, to make sure my recovery is going well and to find out what exercises I should be doing. 

Start with light cardio 

Don't put pressure on your self to be at the same level you were pre-baby. Just ease your self back in with light cardio work or even better. Ask your local gym to write you a postpartum programme specific to you. Most gyms offer this service if you are a member. 

Do your pelvic floor exercises 

The most important thing you can do for your body after a baby is your pelvic floor exercises. I downloaded the Squeezy app which is an NHS approved an app. Giving you five pelvic floor exercises per day. This has been great for me as it's so easy to forget what exercises you have done the day before. This app also reminds you when to do your exercises. 

Drink plenty of water 

As always being hydrated is indeed imported. Even more so if you are breastfeeding or expressing as this dehydrates you quicker than normal. Having a refillable bottle with you will help you keep hydrated when breastfeeding or expressing. 

Ease yourself back in 

It's important to not take on too much or anything too strenuous straight away. So it's best not to jump into a new sport or style of training unless it's specific for postpartum. If you did yoga pre-baby head back but take it easy.  All sports and training work different muscles and muscle groups, some of these will be stronger than other after having a baby. Working new muscles will put extra strain on your body, so stick to what you know. 

During my postpartum recovery, I have been making sure that I have been taking plenty of vitamin and mineral supplements. Anyone with a newborn knows it's not always possible to have 3 nutritious, healthy meals per day.  So taking a selection of vitamin supplements helps keep your energy levels up when you have those nightmare days and can only eat on the go while you attend to your new arrival. 

Heres the ones I use 

Contributes to a normal healthy heart

 Anti-fatigue formula supports the immune system

Contains high levels of Vitamin C contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress and keeps skin looking healthy

Support the immune system and muscle function 

To shop any of these supplements just click on the supplement name and use code CORINNE20 to get up to 35% off. 

To all you new mums out there, or those of you getting back into exercise after having a break. Don't put pressure on your self, go at your own pace, and above all enjoy it. Because exercise is meant to be fun. 




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