• Gabrielle Babineau

Why new moms often don't get enough exercise after birth

I found this news article so interesting, true and important to share. I’ve personally experienced pregnancies and postpartum and can relate to this article.

A few points that stood out to me:

Postpartum women are… confused.

The early postpartum period is so… raw. It’s filled with ups and downs, emotions, fatigue, stress, anxiety, love, laughter, mom guilt, etc. There comes a point where we begin to think “ Ok, I don’t feel my best, my body has changed, I don’t understand these changes, how can I establish good habits in this new chapter of my life?”. We lack the knowledge and the resources in regards to our bodies during the postpartum chapter of our lives. We get plenty of information on breastfeeding and infant care right after birth, but really, really lack the knowledge on how to move forward and pursue healthy habits for ourselves physically and mentally.

Women are struggling with their bodies.

Yes, yes and yes. I’m not stating that every woman struggles, but most of us ask ourselves A LOT of questions in the early postpartum phase, and it’s completely normal. We were prepared for pregnancy, with all the resources shared at our regular check-ups, stories from friends, what we hear in the social media world. We know most certainly, it’s a near 40-week journey of growing a baby, growing our bellies, and preparing for motherhood. However, we don’t talk about the chapter that simultaneously occurs with the new motherhood chapter. POSTPARTUM. How long does this chapter last? Why is it taking longer for me to heal? How do I lose this baby weight? What about this stretchy skin? Why do I feel weird and not myself? We lack the knowledge and the resources. It’s time we ask more questions, because through knowledge, we can better take care of ourselves physically and mentally, and therefore take care of our children.

Where do I start, what do I do?

The lack of resources for exercise and rehabilitation for postpartum women is a fact. I often see moms returning to their old exercise routine during postpartum without knowing if they should or shouldn’t just yet. With no guidance, you might as well do what you were doing before right? Your exercise routine before birth may be appropriate post-birth. It’s just important to understand the physical and mental changes we need to consider before doing so. Have you healed properly? Is your pelvic floor healed and strong enough to do certain exercises? Is your abdominal separation and connective tissue strong enough to withhold a lot of load? A lot of women believe (because we aren’t told otherwise), that after our 6-week follow-up we are good to go. My 6-week follow-ups consisted of a few questions, a physical exam to see that my vagina had healed properly and that was it. Here is the truth. That is what it should be… because doctors and nurses are trained to do so, they don’t have the time or the training to follow-up on your questions above. But your right to asking questions concerning these physical changes should be heard and referred to the proper health professionals that do have the knowledge and training.

So take home message.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for referrals to seek professional advice with experts who specialize with postpartum rehabilitation and who have the knowledge and can help you on your journey to feeling great, energized, and healed. Your mental and physical health is important, and you deserve to have the knowledge and answers in regards to your body’s healing process. The more questions you ask, the more knowledge you’ll gain, the more services will be offered to you. So please share with other pregnant and postpartum women. Let’s be in charge of our bodies and empower ourselves through knowledge!

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