The Post Natal Journey beyond 6 months
Despite what you may hear, your post-natal journey lasts more than just 12 weeks...a lot longer, In fact, many experts say it can take up to 12 months for your body to fully recover post child birth!
In the beginning it may feel like there is a lot of support around you, family and friends constantly dropping in to help out, cook dinner, put on a load of washing for you, and even encourage you to get out for a walk and and take some time for yourself while they mind your precious little bundle.
Of course there are the many post-natal checks to tick off from Physios and Obstetricians at the magic 6-12-week mark and while all of this is fantastic and vital for your post-natal journey, it doesn’t end here. Regardless whether you have been given an A+ from your Doctor or Physio to go forth and conquer or you have been given the red light and some extra pelvic floor exercises for homework, the journey goes well beyond this 6-12-week milestone.
It was around the 12 week mark I noticed the support from those around does seem to fade away a little. It no way is this a criticism of our precious loved ones, we are becoming more comfortable, confident and independent with bub and may be getting out and about a lot more and even into a regular exercise routine again, so to the outside world we might look like superwoman. With this positive exterior the need for extra hugs from mum, food, phone calls from friends and offers to take bub so you can get some extra shut eye, all seem to slowly diminish. It’s in this new territory that you seem to forget about yourself and your post-natal journey and power on with this thing called life. I’m here to remind you that you are still on the journey and you need to make your wellness a priority!! You just might need to reach out and ask at this point for that extra hug, that time to get 20 more minutes of sleep and most importantly some time to focus on your physical wellbeing.
For me, this 6-month mark has been a timely reminder that I need to reset some physical goals. I wanted to ramp up my running so first stop was to get back into my pelvic floor exercise which I may have been neglecting (we're all human)! To aid this process I will get my pelvic floor and deeper core muscles re-checked via Real Time Ultrasound (RTUS). Why? It’s important to ensure my pelvic floor and core is strong enough and has the endurance to handle a little more running. The last thing I want to do is put extra strain on my pelvic floor and core an undo all the hard work that has got me to this point!
Checking in with your Physio at this stage is a great opportunity for you to ask any questions or raise any concerns you might have regarding your post-natal-recovery, do’s and don’ts with the next stage of exercise and perhaps some further goal setting. It’s also the perfect time to discuss any issues that may be arising for e.g. if you are still experiencing some weakness in the pelvic floor area or maybe still have that niggle around your pelvis or perhaps intimacy with your partner is still feeling physically uncomfortable. Do not suffer in silence, take the time and address these concerns as more often then not you will be guided towards a practical and achievable solution!
Having RTUS redone 6 months down the track will show me just how far I have come from 6 weeks post-natal as well as reinforce visually the awareness I need to engage my pelvic floor and deeper and abdominal muscles correctly. Watch this space for my RTUS follow up photo.
If you have any pre or post-natal queries please do not hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in a Post Natal review no matter where you are on your journey? Don't forget The Studio Creche is available for use Mon-Fri (specific times) free of charge if you have bub in tow!
My favourite at home foam roller stretches that have helped me through the past 6 months of breastfeeding, couch sleeping, baby carrying and pram walking. Thread the needle and mermaid with the roller!