After you’ve given birth is the perfect time to be lazy! Rest now mama.
After the birth of your beautiful baby is an excellent time to flex your lazy muscles.
It’s the ideal time to rest and recuperate. Give your body time to heal. Let your mind, emotions and soul catch up with the reality that you are now a mother.
Slow down, snuggle your baby, breathe.
Pregnancy stretches your abdominals and pelvic floor out to maximum stretch. Muscles work most effectively in their mid range. They don’t contract very well at the end range of their stretchiness.
At the end of pregnancy your baby is keeping those stretched muscles taut and firm. So you have a reasonable sense of stability through your middle created just through length and tension of taut muscles reaching and wrapping around baby. Think of a balloon filled with air and how firm the balloon is.
After your baby is born, there is not so much inside that is keeping your middle firm. And so after the birth, your abdominal muscles are still long, but they are no longer taut. Instead they are squishy and perhaps a little jellyish.
A bit like a balloon that has lost most of its air, it becomes all soft, floppy and lax.
Your body is amazing and is designed to recover after birth. But you need to give it abundant rest, good nutrition and ensure you don’t over exert or over strain it to soon.
So lie down. Snooze. Nap. Slip into hazy baby time. Enjoy those squishy cuddles.
Then after about six lazy and restful weeks, take care to re-coordinate your middle muscles with the breath and with each other. With gentleness and patience.
Sometimes in the Pilates studio I see postnatal women who have a back to front breathing pattern and a back to front pattern of core stabilisation. Perhaps they breathe high up into their chest as they inhale and suck their belly in. Or perhaps as they breathe out they push out into their abs and down into their pelvic floor. Between these two patterns, there is a recipe for pelvic floor injury and dysfunction and also stress and anxiety.
If nothing else, after the initial and vital post birth rest and recovery period, it’s so important for women to restore good breathing patterns and healthy pathways of core coordination.
If you don’t breathe well, then your pelvic floor can’t function well and your abdominal muscles will struggle to support you. Also you’ll likely tend towards a shallow breath pattern which in turn can lead to super tight neck and shoulder muscles and increased anxiety levels.
The bodies that birth our babies, our next generation of humans, these bodies matter.
Resting to promote healing after birth is so important. And recovering good breathing and core function for these birthing bodies matters. Enormously.
I dream of helping to decrease the large numbers of pregnancy and birth related pelvic health injuries that are devastating our incredible mothers. These injuries are invisible and debilitating and can contribute to overwhelming feelings of depression, anxiety and isolation. We need to support the humans that give birth. We need to support them much better than we do now.
So after giving birth, be a lazy mama. Slow down. Rest and recuperate. Let your body regenerate.
Your body matters mama. You matter and you are very, very amazing. xx
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