05 Dec 2017 | Pilates

Beyond the baby bump

Beyond the baby bump

The pregnant woman is an amazing being. She grows a human inside her very own body. From 2 cells divided, a baby will be born in no more than 9 months. This is the most wonderful feat of every living being, to produce another of its kind, and for that we should all be in awe of the body's ability and cause.

So, it always astounds me how much some women are willing to endure in the quest for the return to 'normal'.

"How long will it take, when will I be back, and who do I listen to?" are the familiar questions that are asked of the new mother.

Why are we so obsessed with return? Why can we not be content with the fact that we have grown a child inside of us and move forwards from there? Who is telling us to return and to where are we going when we get there?

My advice to all pregnant women and new mothers is to realise this: Your baby takes 9 months to change your body to the shape it becomes.. and then you put your body through the most strenuous endurance test of your life. Regardless of how your baby enters this World, your body is contorted and manipulated, possibly torn and stretched in ways that no man could endure. So after 3 months of rest and relaxation to even begin to heal, could you allow just 9 more months for your body to adjust to your new self?

Give your body the time you deserve to heal. Give your body the space that you need to reconnect and give your health the love you require for longevity.

One of the biggest mistakes we see of women returning to movement is their insistence on returning to the grinding regime that they performed pre pregnancy. And then wondering down the track why their insides are falling out, why they don't have endurance tone in their pelvic floor and why their body is falling apart 3 years post birth.

A healthy pelvic floor should have the endurance tone of at least 10 seconds. If you can not hold your pelvic floor deeply for 10 seconds while you breathe in and out, you are in no shape to be taking part in ballistic exercise which includes running, step aerobic or overhead weight training.

If you are not sure how to connect with your pelvic floor, we recommend an internal examination with a womens health physiotherapist. They will give you tactile feedback to help you understand your connection and give you the tools to practice. From there you would possibly be recommended a gentle Pilates program.

We always recommend one on ones or small group classes with a senior instructor to get you started, especially if you have any complications or prolapse.

The joy of motherhood is far reaching and it starts with understanding, regaining and maintaining your own health so that you can enjoy your role as a mother and beyond. Be kind to yourself and have the courage to reach out. You are not alone in your uncertainties and you have many years ahead of you to depend on proper function of your pelvic floor.

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