We like options. And we are pretty sure you do too.
Telling you to stop running, lifting heavy weights or jumping with your kids because you’ve had kids is not what we are about. You are not broken and you don’t have to slash things off your bucket list for the rest of your life just because you’ve had kids. NO!!!
We do agree, however, that there are certain exercises that are best avoided for a short period of time when you’re postpartum.
We’re not going to tell you NOT to do things, but instead give you alternatives.
First, let’s take a step back.
When exactly IS ‘Postpartum’? It can be months or even years after you’ve had kids. As my Pelvic Floor PT, Kenael Segal likes to say, once postpartum, always postparum (even 50 years later!).
After having babies, we have to build the foundation of the core and pelvic floor back up BEFORE we jump into more intense exercises like running, crossfit, power yoga or even some pilates classes.
I learned the hard way that postpartum training and exercise is very different from traditional exercise, and some of the same exercises that are great for “getting your core back”, can do some serious damage to the postpartum body.
When I had my first son 4 years ago, I was determined to jump right back in as soon as I could. Core work? I’m on it. Running? I got it. I did it all before I was pregnant and stayed in great shape while I was pregnant, so why not continue after?
But 6 months postpartum and 6 months before a race I signed up to run after my son was born, I still couldn’t jog the block without my insides feeling like they were falling out. My core felt like it was jiggling around like a water balloon. I still had a little bit of pain in the front of my pelvis when I ran. My hips felt out of alignment and my back felt weak. And if that wasn’t bad enough, every time I ran my freaking feet would swell to the point that I could barely walk!
I seriously contemplated if I would EVER feel strong again, or if this was just the new ‘me’ I had to work with. Maybe things would just feel a little off from now on, and that’s the trade-off for having a kid.
Little did I know then (even as a professional), that postpartum training is ENTIRELY different than your usual fitness training.
I felt like I was doing everything I could to get stronger and nothing seemed to work. I mean, I was a trainer!! I should have known how to do this! It was incredibly frustrating.
I spent the next three years of my life pouring over research, learning the nitty gritty about our pelvic floor and core from people I trust in the industry (like respected pelvic floor PTs and anatomy geniuses), and seeking out well-researched options. I knew there had to be answers.
Finding those answers proved more challenging than I would have liked, but I learned a TON in the process and finally got my strength back. And, it catapulted me into an entirely new field of focus – helping postpartum moms get their strength back! (Side note – if I had seen a Pelvic Floor PT sooner with my first son, I would have avoided a LOT of the pain I went through in the first place. See your Pelvic Floor PTs ladies!)
What we share in this video is what I learned NOT to do – specific exercises that you should MODIFY postpartum until your foundation is secure, whether you have an abdominal split or not.
I can almost guarantee that some of the exercises in this video are going to have you asking “but Kendra, my trainer / yoga teacher / PT gave me these exact exercises to heal my Diastasis Recti. What should I do?”
First, watch the video. 🙂
Then, if any of these exercises stump you as to why they are in the ‘no fly zone’ or conflict with information that other professionals have told you, please email me. I would love the opportunity to talk with you about your specific situation.
The more you understand how your body works and WHY you’re doing the things you’re doing, the better results you’re going to get. And that’s what we want!!
Modifying is important for now, but it doesn’t mean FOREVER.
Once you watch the video, check out our list of what to do instead of these exercises as you’re re-building your foundation.