Welcome to PART 2 of the ‘Safe Return to Exercise Series’ where we are talking about The Post Natal Healing Process.
Many women are the under the impression that once they have given birth, their body will just return to what it was like pre pregnancy.
There are two key points here:
- Your body changes during pregnancy and birth and will not be exactly the same again!
- Your body needs time to heal following pregnancy and childbirth which many women do not realise.
It doesn’t matter what type of delivery you had or whether your labour was straightforward or not. The simple fact is that tissues and tendons throughout the body, all go through some degree of trauma during pregnancy and the birth itself.
Let me explain more about this
One of the most interesting subjects on my advanced post natal training course was ‘Wound Healing’. This subject was a real eye opener for me. I certainly didn’t understand how much trauma the body goes through during pregnancy and birth and how much time it takes to heal. This knowledge really was a game changer for me in terms how I work with and prescribe exercise for post natal women.
If we think of someone who has had a c-section, it is obvious that they need to time to heal as they have a surgical wound where they were cut open to deliver their baby. However, it is not just this type of wound that needs time to heal. Tissues and tendons throughout the body go through some degree of trauma during pregnancy and birth. This trauma is classed as a wound and also needs time to heal. For example:
- DIASTASIS RECTI – which is separation of the abdominal muscles that occurs during pregnancy. As your baby grows, the muscles move apart. The connective tissue that joins them together becomes stretched and weakened, this is a type of tissue trauma.
- TISSUES OF THE BIRTH CANAL all go through some degree of trauma during a vaginal birth
- PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES can also be stretched and weakened during pregnancy and birth
All the above must be addressed, you must allow you body the time it needs to heal. The process of healing post birth can take up to a total of 2 years!!
The Good News
The good news is that you can help the healing process along the way. The top three things you need to do are:
- Eat WHOLESOME NUTRITIOUS food
- Make POSITIVE LIFESTYLE CHOICES
- Embark on a SPECIALIST POST NATAL EXERCISE PROGRAMME that addresses issues such as Diastasis Recti and weak pelvic floor muscles.
It really is not the time to be jumping into high intensity exercise and following a restrictive diet to get your ‘pre baby body back’. This is only going to be detrimental to your recovery. It may not be obvious in the early weeks and months but will cause you problems further down the line!
You may also be interested in reading my other blog:
Other blogs in this series:
Part 1 – Understanding your postnatal body
Part 2 – The postnatal healing process
Part 3 – Why the 6 week check is not enough
Part 4 – Postnatal Posture
Part 5 – Understanding Diastasis Recti
Part 6 – Your Pelvic Floor
Part 7 – Postnatal Exercise Do’s and Don’ts