Those of us who have had babies are familiar with the squigy soft tummy we are left with where our beautiful baby/babies used to be. We notice this difference because it is visible and obvious, but it is even more important to recognise the structural changes that have occurred inside our body if we are to prevent pelvic floor dysfunction, resolve abdominal separation (diastasis recti), manage back pain and improve the aesthetics of our abdominals.
When you were pregnant, your body made way for the growing baby. Skin was stretched, organs were rearranged and major hormonal changes were taking place (and continue to take place after birth). After birth, it takes time (and a little effort) to get those organs back to their correct position, skin elasticity to return (if it does at all), abdominal separation to resolve and our hormones to level out. Did you know it can take up to two years for abdominal muscles to fully recover after pregnancy and up to four months after you finish breastfeeding for the hormone, Relaxin, to leave your system?
This is an important consideration for those wanting to recover between pregnancies, and for those keen to return to pre-baby fitness activities. I encourage you to think about your recovery as rehabilitation rather than a simple "return to exercise". Take the time to get it right early and you will lay the foundation for a strong, safe return to pre-baby fitness levels.
If you have been to one of our classes, you have probably heard about the "core canister". Think about your core as a canister, the top of the canister is your diaphragm (under your lungs), your abdominal and back muscles are the walls of the canister and you pelvic floor is the bottom of the canister. In order to protect our pelvic floor, minimise lower back pain and flatren our tummy, these components need to work effectively together. What happens at the top of the canister and around the walls, effects what happens at the bottom of the canister.
So how can we get our Core Canister functioning optimally?
So what can you do?
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