It’s been 6 long, exhausting weeks since baby was born. You’ve gone to your OBGYN and have been cleared to return to exercise. FINALLY! However, there is a lot more to it than just that!
There are many common postpartum issues you may still be experiencing, but you just haven’t talked about because you assume they are a normal after having a baby. Yet, what most women don’t know is although these issues are COMMON, they are NOT NORMAL! And jumping back into certain activities and exercises too fast can actually make these issues worse! Just because you CAN do something after baby, does not mean that you SHOULD do it. So, once you’ve been cleared by your physician, you’ve given your body time to rest, and you feel ready to get back to the activities and exercise you love, there are several questions your should answer before you start!
Are you experiencing heaviness, pulling or pressure in your pelvis? Do you feel like there are times when you are sitting on a ball or do you notice a bulge of tissue coming out of the opening of your vagina?
Do you notice a “coning” or a bulge in your abdomen when you contract your abdominal muscles (ie: sitting up from lying down)? Do you feel like you still look pregnant, despite being 3-4 months postpartum? Are you experiencing low back pain, especially when lifting things around the house?
Are you leaking urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh or lift something heavy? What about when you run or jump? Do you feel like you are having to urine more frequently than normal?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, it is likely you are experiencing symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse, diastasis recti and/or urinary incontinence and ultimately an underlying pelvic floor dysfunction. It is vital you discuss this with your FIT4MOM instructors so they can guide you through the best exercise modifications.
Additionally, a pelvic floor physical therapist can assess all of these issues, help make a diagnosis and develop a personalized treatment plan. We will partner with your instructors/trainers to ensure you are progressing appropriately throughout your exercise regimen.
Ultimately, getting back to exercising after baby is important for many women, but there is a right and wrong way to do it! LOVE YOUR BODY by asking yourself these questions before taking the plunge back into your fitness regimen. In the long run, your body will love you back!
Kelley Warner, PT, DPT, OCS
Physical Therapist & Owner of Modern Mommy Physical Therapy
You can check out my personal postpartum experience at: www.modernmommypt.com/meet-kelley/