Firstly, language matters, the way information, or a diagnosis, is delivered to us makes a difference. More on this in another blog!
Let’s take the example of “Don’t Lift Your Kids” because of common pelvic health outcomes from pregnancy (see what I did there) – in particular prolapse but I’ve also heard women being told the same with diastasis recti and higher levels of incontinence.
Yes of course we have to clear the red flags, tissue damage and so forth, but once cleared, remember the above are NOT a contraindication to exercise or movement. You are moving day to day! You have to to get from A to B and up from a chair to picking up toys from the floor etc.
SO, think about what you NEED to do in life. Lifting your kids IS something you HAVE to do. Otherwise you’ll be pushing them with your feet along the floor or dragging them by the arms….not really an option right?!
The first thing is dialling down the fear-avoidance beliefs that may have been imposed upon you. You’ve done this before, you are safe. For example, you might choose not to heavy squat or deadlift with a barbell in the gym just yet, but you have to pick up your child from the floor to put them in their high chair or lower into a cot…same same but different? One is structured and guided (if with a trainer), the other is typically done without thinking and more ‘uncontrolled’. So why not get stronger to make the uncontrolled easier?
There is no need to go from 0 to 100, exposing yourself to graded levels of functional movement will help increase your capacity to carry out said movements and stimulate adaptation e.g. muscle strength and growth (hypertrophy) including pelvic floor!
So how do you start? Here are some tips:
This last point 6. will be good for some but too much for others i.e. if you are someone who can get obsessed with the detail then it might be too much and lead to overthinking everything. You want to get on with life, remove fear and an enjoy the experience of getting stronger and improving your health, fitness and wellbeing.
You might not be ready physically and mentally to pick up a barbell yet and that is fine! At the very least train your body and pelvic floor an appropriate level and intensity to make your body stronger, life easier AND enjoyable!
And lastly don’t forget to relax. Unclench that butt and jaw! It can be easy to hold on tight to everything as a way to ‘protect’ the body e.g. overly engaging/activating your abdominals and pelvic floor, but too much tension is troublesome! Be sure to fit in activities that require you NOT to think about it all the time and help you unwind whether that be with the family, friends or even on your own including meditation & mindfulness.
If you do need further support, seek out a qualified health professional that can show a positive pathway to where you want to be and empowers you, not frightens you out of movement.
Want to work with me?
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