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Postpartum Body Expectations

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

I wanted to talk about postpartum expectations on “getting our body back”. We set expectations whether we realize it or not. Now as a new mother myself, I realize “getting our body back” takes on a whole new meaning because once you have a child, you’re not fully your own anymore. You’re a climbing gym, a safe space, a hand to hold, your baby’s favorite smell, a chest to nuzzle, a lap to sit in and arms to carry.




postpartum body



Getting my body back is less about the physical and more the mental for me. I want to get my strength back so I can carry my daughter, lift her up and be able to be active for a LONG time. I want to exercise to manage my stress and boost my endorphins. Sure, some days I do miss how I previously looked, but I love my postpartum body for how amazing it was to not only grow a baby for 9+ months but bring new life into this world.


TIMELINE

Truth is, our body’s took 9+ months to change and grow with our baby, so it’s going to take 9+ months to replenish lost nutrients, organs to get back where they were, diaphragm and pelvic floor and deep core to return to normal length and strength. If you're breastfeeding, your body is prioritizing getting nutrients to your baby versus building you muscle.


WHAT TO FOCUS EXERCISE ON

Where I encourage mom’s here is to start with rebuilding the foundation because as you are caring for your child, it’s going to be easy to fall into bad habits with our posture, our breathing and pelvic floor. Instead of seeing this as a discouragement, I try to re-frame it to be an encouraging way to restart your body and fix what may need to be fixed anyways! The postpartum period is a great opportunity to slow down and take time to help your body rebuild its strength in a more balanced way.


3 Key Tips for Rebuilding your Foundation are as follows:


1. Start with reconnecting with your BREATH: work on inhaling through your nose as your pelvic floor relaxes. Try to work on expanding your breath all the way to the base of your pelvis. Exhale should be passive when you are working on deep breathing. Try to expand to the sides and backs of your rib cage for a full 360 degree breath.


2. Be PATIENT. The immediate postpartum period is for rest, recovery and healing. There is no benefit in jumping back into workouts. Start with walking and easier movements before getting into the harder exercises. Give yourself a lot of grace as you get back into workouts and know progress may not be linear. True recovery and replenishing takes up to a year!


3. Reconnect with your PELVIC FLOOR and DEEP CORE: When you lift your baby, exhale and contract your pelvic floor and lower abdominals. When you go to lift the baby carrier, engage your pelvic floor and abdominals. As you start to exercise, make sure you have a strong pelvic floor and lower abdominal contraction.



You're doing a great job, mama! Wherever you are in your postpartum journey, keep going! If you need more help and guidance and want to learn how online postpartum strength coaching may be for you, send a text to 615-982-4062 or email me at drcaitlin@engagepttn.com.


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