Your little one is turning one. You are ecstatic and exhausted at the same time. And maybe you’re also a mom to two or three other children. With all of this excitement when do you have time for yourself? You start to wonder when you’ll be able to return to a regular exercise routine or get your abs back into shape. It might be frustrating to not be back to your pre-pregnancy body but firstly, take a deep breathe and be kind to yourself! Next, here are some tips around getting back to your body and taking care of you.
Always ease back into working out.
Don’t be hard on yourself! Your body created and grew another human and then pushed it out a tiny hole! Bravo! Consider working with a trainer or health professional who has experience with working with a postpartum population.
It could be stress
There are several reasons why you may still look pregnant or have a little ‘pouch’. One of these reasons is STRESS. Please know that stress can affect your gut. The ecosystem of the bad and good bacteria in your gut can be thrown off balance when you are stressed. Then you can get an overload of bad bacteria, this can make you feel bloated and tired, among many other things. The bloating can give you that unwanted ‘pouch’ and make you feel that you are really out of shape–even when you might be working hard to get back into shape. Try to consult with a licensed practitioner/registered dietician/GI doctor if you are experiencing these issues. They can help you with a proper diet plan and advice on what foods are right for you.
You may have Diastasis Recti.
This is a splitting of the abdominal muscles down the center of your abdomen. Imagine your core is like a corset tied at the front. If the corset is untied, then you are going to have buckling of the corset and no stability from the corset. This is the case with your abs. If there is a splitting of your abdominal muscles, you will have a bulging of your abdominal muscles (pouch) and you will have poor stability for your lumbar spine and low back. If you suspect this might be the case (do you see a bulging of your abdominals down your midline when you try to sit up?), then contact a women’s health physical therapist and they can help you develop a proper rehab program specifically designed for you.
No doubt that you are superwoman, but even superheroes need a break. Take time for yourself and be patient! And make sure to consult the proper health and fitness professionals to guide you on your fitness journey.
Written by Denise Jagroo DPT, MTC, WCS. Denise is a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Women’s Health Physical Therapy and the co-author or Your Best Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide to Easing the Aches, Pains and Uncomfortable Side Effects During Each Stage of Your Pregnancy. Dr. Jagroo has a private practice in midtown Manhattan: www.drjagroo.com