As a mom, your body has been through it all! You’ve definitely felt how much pregnancy has changed you and it’s definitely made a huge impact on your lifestyle and health. So what really happens to your body after giving birth? And, more importantly, how do you stay healthy and fit despite these changes?
We talked to our friends at Onelife Studio, a Pilates studio run by a team of licensed physical therapists, to find out what you need to know about the different changes your body goes through after childbirth and what you can do to stay healthy in the process! Find out what these health professionals have to say!
After carrying a baby for nine long months, it’s only natural that you put on a few pounds. But with those extra pounds comes low back pains, changes in your posture, and insecurities that can last long after giving birth. All of this can make going about daily activities pretty difficult, since the pain from these changes can mean real discomfort for any mom.
And you definitely don’t need any fancy equipment to do Pilates at home either! Try improvising dumbbells by filling up bottles with water to get started on some simple chest and arm exercises.
A lot of moms may not know this, but the gap in your abs that you get during pregnancy to make room for your growing baby can stay open even for years after giving birth! This gap is called diastasis recti and it’s often wider than two fingers. Although most moms don’t know they have it, diastasis recti can make your core weaker and give you a harder time getting back to that flat belly.
This condition can cause your back and pelvic floor muscles to weaken too, which means more discomfort and leaky bladders! For moms who had C-sections, these weakened muscles add an extra challenge and can make recovery after birth all the more difficult.
During pregnancy, different hormones work to prepare your body for your baby and one of these hormones called Relaxin specifically loosens your joints to help with your delivery later on. But, this looseness can last till after you give birth and can make your body weaker, which means even doing day-to-day activities could be more difficult.
Because of the blood loss during pregnancy, new moms risk having a low supply of iron. Being low in iron means you’ll be easily exhausted during the first few weeks after giving birth. This tiredness can make moms more irritable and can even leave them feeling helpless, adding on to the negative feelings of postpartum depression.
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and go for lean meats, fish, fruits, veggies, nuts, and grains to stock up on the vitamins you need and for healthy boosts of energy as well.
The mood swings, anxiety, and depression that often show up postpartum can really take their toll on a mom’s confidence and they also take much longer to resolve. With all these negative emotions and thoughts, many moms feel less empowered and less independent, making even the things they love to do difficult.
Onelife Studio health professionals all suggest that new moms should be cleared by their physicians before doing any post-natal exercises. Every mom and pregnancy is different after all, and not all moms have the same recovery processes. So eating right, getting more sleep, and taking more “me times” while you heal are great ways to start!
Once you get the go signal from your doctor, working with licensed physical therapists like those at Onelife Studio who are knowledgeable of post-natal conditions will help you make sure that you’re given safe and appropriate exercises that progress at the perfect pace for you. With their expert help, you’ll be in safe hands on the road to fitness!
Find out how you can start your journey with Onelife Studio here!
Special thanks to Studio Director Tanya Aguila and Coaches Angelyn, Faye, and Gab for their insights and tips!