Imagine that you’re well into your pregnancy, or maybe you’ve just birthed a miracle. You’re absolutely glowing. You feel strong, willing, and able. The perfect kickstarter to getting back on the exercise train. Then you remember the watermelon still strapped to your midsection, or the one smiling back at you from the watermelon rocker you just brought home from the hospital, and you feel…different.
If this sounds like you, it’s a good time to pause and honestly ask yourself a few personal questions.
Before beginning a pregnancy or postpartum fitness regimen ask yourself:
- Am I frequently leaking urine?
- Do I have any nagging back or hip pain?
- Is there any pelvic discomfort?
- Do I sense heaviness in my vaginal area?
- Does my rectum or abdomen feel full?
For those considering postpartum fitness, be sure to bear in mind whether or not you had a high-grade tear, episiotomy, or c-section during the birthing process.
Let’s assume that you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of the above questions. Visiting your local pelvic floor physical therapist is recommended before incorporating pregnancy fitness into your daily routine. Why would this be beneficial? Well, for starters, some muscle imbalances or coordination issues need to be addressed before you hop on that exercise train. A pelvic floor physical therapist can help you address these issues to improve your recovery time and pelvic floor rehabilitation.
On the other hand, maybe none of the listed questions apply to you. You’re progressing through your pregnancy experience or your birthing process had little to no complications and you’re ready to start a pregnant/post-pregnancy active lifestyle. Heck, your physician even gave you the green light, but your first workout feels a little off. The kettlebell feels heavier. The squats burn a little more.
You might start questioning your form or second-guessing your every move.
Ugh, why is starting over so overwhelming? Where do I start? Pelvic floor physical therapy to the rescue.
A pregnancy fitness consultation from your local clinic will make the perfect exercise train companion. During this consultation, you’ll learn exactly where you are in your exercise journey and how to move forward in recovery. Easing into exercise appropriately is the best way to promote an active postpartum lifestyle.
What does a pregnancy fitness evaluation cover?
A pregnancy, or postpartum, fitness consultation will take into account your previous exercise history as well as your present exercise status and body mechanics. We will review movements that you’re familiar with and how to embrace those movements in a not-so-familiar body. We’ll also explore exercises that are safe and beneficial during pregnancy or the postpartum period. This session will be informal, ending with some demonstrations and/or a quick workout to double-check your execution of these exercises.
This is not a physical therapy session. There will be no internal exam during your pregnancy fitness consultation nor will any treatment techniques be discussed. However, if an issue does arise, a referral to a pelvic floor physical therapist will be made to avoid any delay in your recovery journey.
When should I exercise?
This is a completely personal question. Do you feel rested enough to move your body? Are you ready to start training or is moving for fun more your speed at the moment? Checking in with yourself and knowing your own boundaries for exercise are important factors to a successful workout.
How many sessions will this be?
Again, this is a personal question and is dependent on the person exercising. We can go over concerns and alternate movement options. If there’s anything we didn’t cover during your initial fitness consultation or in one of our sessions, feel free to book another appointment! I’ll be happy to help.
Is exercise safe for me at this time?
Yes! Movement is great for a mom. Not only does movement give you that much-needed boost of energy, but it also helps to improve your mood and sleep—something all moms need.
Bottom line: Knowing which movements are safe and beneficial to your body during pregnancy or the postpartum period is key. If you’re nervous about where to start, booking a pregnancy fitness consultation can give you a good idea of where to begin. If you’re experiencing pain or any sort of discomfort, visiting a pelvic floor physical therapist prior to starting an exercise regimen is always recommended.
Book your first consultation today and feel strong as a mother.