3 months postpartum - My exercise journey so far
So here I am, 3 months postpartum. Not quite the maternity leave I had envisioned - coffees with mates, park play dates, mother’s group hang outs and classes at my favourite studio …we can’t always control our circumstance but with a healthy dose of perspective and a bit of a stern discussion with yourself every so often you can really make the most of an unexpected or perhaps undesirable situation.
In terms of my Physical recovery - I’m feeling great! Following the advice of my Women’s Health team (after my Initial assessment at 5 weeks post partum) I have been attending 1:1 Clinical Exercise & Pilates sessions weekly, aiming for 4 Studio Online workouts each week and also walking every pathway in the Inner west I can get my hands (and pram wheels) on.
My exercise sessions from week 5-6 focused on getting my body moving with plenty of stretches (hello concrete upper back and rigid shoulders) core activation (with respect to my C-section incision), pelvic floor activation & relaxation and gentle full body conditioning.
From about week 8 we started to up the anti a little adding light weights to my workouts, progressing my core work (yay for double table top & modified planks) and I upped my walked distance (monitoring for any symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction or abdominal discomfort).
At this point I was keen to sweat and get my heart rate up. I would have LOVED at to get back into the pool and tackle some laps (the perfect low impact cardio based exercise for preggies & post natals), but not to be due to restrictions so I stuck with walking the bay and we increased the load in my strength sessions so I could build towards more dynamic style workouts - Barre & Boxing
My first Barre session (although in my living room) was heaven. I was stoked to challenge my body while feeling safe and confident I had done the ground work to get there. I’m not ready to jump, burpee or mountain climb at speed just yet but picking up the pace and taking my squats and lunges deeper was reward enough.
I have booked in for a Women’s Health review this week to take stock and reassess my pelvic floor strength and tolerance to increased load and my abdominal wall integrity now that I am challenging it more. My goal is to discuss the next stage - being 3 months and having done the work it’s time to incorporate some light impact exercise. I’m by no means a runner but I would like to confidently jog around the park with Wilbur, throw in some shuttle runs between left/rights and add some plyometric drills into my workouts (squat jumps and burpees etc).
Fingers crossed I get the green light!
Side note: If you’re postpartum and having a tough time of it please don’t read the above and feel bad about your personal situation. I’ve certainly had many days when sleep timings weren’t on my side, woken up with blocked ducts or I just couldn’t be bothered...but as I always say it’s never too late to start and something is better than nothing - some days it’s just a bit of a dance while I rock Billie or a few squats next to the bassinet as I sing twinkle twinkle (really gotta relearn some more nursery rhymes). You’re not alone and you aren’t expected to know what you should/shouldn’t be doing. Every post natal journey is different, no two bodies are the same so individualised advice must be sought. I may be biased but far out I have felt safe and secure in the arms of the team at The Studio. Reach out when you’re ready and if we can't help we'll point you in the direction of those who can.