A postpartum exercise program can be key to improving your ability to confidently and energetically care for your new baby, decrease your risk of injury and allow you to regain your pre-pregnancy physique.
Approximately 50% of women experience pain either during pregnancy or postpartum. 50%. That's half of all of you that read this article.
Parenting is a physically taxing job. Repetitive stress from the daily activities required to care for a baby puts a woman at risk for disc injury, chronic back pain or muscle and ligament injury.
We know that during pregnancy our ligaments become slack due to the hormone, relaxin. This is to allow our bodies to adapt to carrying a growing child inside of us.
Therefore, pregnancy results in alteration of the bodily structure. The pelvis widens and shifts and our low back curvature increases as the weight to the front of our spine becomes heavier as shown in the illustration below.
Joanne Garvey(photo credit)
Post delivery, we then take on the challenge of caring for a new baby as our bodies begin the process of "hardening" those ligaments that became lax during pregnancy. A woman is at risk during this time as she is performing the repetitive acts of caring for a baby.
Do you think the risk for injury could be reduced by a postpartum exercise program? Do you think you can confidently return to physical activity? Do you think you can regain your flat tummy? Absolutely! With specific deep core and pelvic floor strengthening, body mechanics instruction and posture training all these things can be achieved.
If this is all true, then why are there not more of us doing postpartum exercise training?
I recently encountered a medical study that referenced the challenges moms face when adding physical activity to their lives.
Some of the Barriers included:
lack of motivation and confidence
very little time and accessibility to affordable and appropriate exercise programs
and poor access to transportation
Heather Christensen, founder of the Mommy Ready Program, set out to address these constraints when she created the Mommy Ready Program.
The Program addresses:
ease of access
appropriate exercise instruction and progression
availability of professional input
support from other Moms going through the program through our website, Facebook and Instagram Pages.
The benefits of a postpartum exercise program include improved energy and strength for daily activities, decreased risk for injury, losing the baby weight and increasing strength and tone of the abdominal muscles, improving sleep and decreasing stress and improving your overall outlook on motherhood.
To learn more about the benefits of a postpartum exercise program subscribe to the Mommy Ready Newsletter. You will receive more information about how a postpartum exercise program can help you!
References: Perceived barriers and enablers of physical activity in postpartum women: a qualitative approach SalighehEmail author, Beverley McNamara and Rosanna Rooney Published: 2 June 2016