So you’ve had the baby (congratulations!) and you’re wondering about a safe return to post pregnancy exercise.
Firstly, good on you for making yourself a priority and wanting to get active. Secondly, your body might not be quite (or even close) to your pre-pregnancy self. So, you’re going to need to ease back into it. There’s definitely some old favourites that are firmly off the workout list.
Here’s some expert tips by Lorraine Scapens from PregnancyExercise on post pregnancy exercise and getting your new mumma groove back!
Welcome back to exercise! If you want your abdominal muscles to recover from pregnancy and flatten your tummy within 6 months of having your baby these are our tips on safe post pregnancy exercise.
Exercises to avoid 6 months after giving birth
- Full Press ups
- V sit ups
- Pilates 100 have or have poor posture until your Diastasis Recti-Post Pregnancy Muscle Separation has healed completely.
So what are Diastasis recti?
A diastasis recti (DR) is caused by your uterus pushing up against your linea alba during your pregnancy. The separation occurs from 30+ weeks but multiple pregnancies, poor posture and not correcting a DR before a consecutive pregnancy can see a DR appearing as soon as 12-13 weeks!
Why not do these exercises?
All of the above increase a diastasis recti-abdominal separation; you also need to make sure that you don’t do the above during your pregnancy as this will increases premature separation.
Pregnancy hormones Progesterone and Relaxin weaken your muscle ligaments and are in your system up to 4- 6months post pregnancy. When you perform the exercises above it forces the abdominal muscles into a V-shape, basically an arrow which then pushes up and out through the already weakened muscle, separating the linea alba further or preventing it from healing. The more you do these exercises with post pregnancy muscle separation the wider the gap can get ensuring you will never get rid of that preggy belly!
Unfortunately, the very exercises you might be doing to get back in shape can actually exacerbate the problem you’re trying to fix. Any movement that bulges the abdominal wall forcefully forward will further separate the abdominal muscles, making an existing abdominal separation worse, possibly even causing one in a previously healthy abdomen. Always engage your abdominal muscles in a flat-to-flatter contraction as you exhale. Never brace, barrel, or flex the abs forcefully forward in a bulging action.
Safe exercises post baby
It’s time to try something new! Here’s how to perform safe tummy exercises. This is the first exercise you need to do post the birth of your baby and you should also do this up to 16 weeks pregnant:
For safe and effective pre or post pregnancy exercises you can have a look at the programs on my website:http://pregnancyexercise.co.nz Also try the self-test and check your DR
About the author: Lorraine Scapens – Lorraine is a Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist with 20 years experience training pregnant and post natal women. She has specialized in Pregnancy and Post Natal Exercise for more than 15 Years. Her websites are Pregnancy Exercise and Turning Baby, and you can read her blog here. She is also on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. To see all of Lorraine’s articles, click here.
Disclaimer: This information is general advice only, and you are advised to discuss any concerns you may have with your GP or midwife, or before starting a new exercise regime. Lorraine is not able to provide you with medical advice. You cannot hold Lorraine liable in any way for injuries that may occur whilst training.