Unfortunately there is no quick fix to get back the body you once had (or once dreamed of) after birth.
Your baby has changed you...and that’s absolutely ok.
We live in a culture that does not give us this message enough and we experience a lot of pressure from celebrities, partners and even ourselves to ‘get back to the way we were’ quickly after birth.
A lot of women’s post natal problems are caused by the rush to return to levels of exercise and fitness when your body is just not ready.
The rush of hormones postnatally and the need to feel in control (of anything) can cause these mums to push themselves and potentially cause complications such as incontinence, prolapses, hernias and all those other terrifying things you’ve heard of or late-night Googled.
Tis the season for lots of Photoshopped images of people who don’t live in the real world trying to sell you plans, formulas and products that just aren’t good for you.
You have permission to ignore them all.
So here’s the pitch. Take care of yourself and love yourself as you are right now.
And as the New Year dawns, if you feel the itch to get moving again, come and see me for six weeks on a Physio Led Post Natal pilates course.
We’ll get your core activated, help you develop some strength around your middle and talk a lot about pelvic floor muscles - because who doesn’t love a bit of small talk!
The classes are small and friendly, and of course your baby is welcome.
You’ll get a new understanding of what your body is capable of right now and a safe path forward that will help you gain strength and body confidence for whatever it is you would like to be doing next.
And on that subject. In many East Asian cultures, after birth women enter postpartum confinement. For up to 100 days (or the fourth trimester) the mother’s job is to support her baby and focus on her healing, nothing else matters as the mum is massaged, fed good food and given the time and space to recover from a job well done.
With that in mind, please take the pressure off yourself this Christmas and New Year.
January might be too soon for you to be thinking about exercise again.
If in doubt, take the extra time.
We’ll be here when you’re ready...as will the gym, the netball team, the WOD, the sponsored Instagram posts, the new diet fad and all the other things that orbit our world.
Let me end this with a thought. If you are fortunate enough to be holding a baby it means you did something completely and utterly amazing.
This Christmas and New Year let’s celebrate that more than we focus on our lack of clothing options, strength and ability to run a half marathon.