my postpartum exercises, 4 years later

We tend to use the term “postpartum” to represent the short period of time after giving birth.  While this time deserves to be talked about a lot more (and issues like postpartum depression especially) postpartum is really just a new way of life after becoming a mom.  Your body won’t ever be the same again, but that’s more than okay.  If you have a mom pooch or tinkle when you sneeze, this post is for you, so read on!

With each new pregnancy comes a new postpartum experience and changes in your body.  I can honestly say, besides my struggle with postpartum depression, I didn’t experience any long-lasting changes after my first child.  My body just pretty much looked and worked the same.  Numero dos was a different story.

Gabe, my heart and soul, you are worth any postpartum struggle but I was definitely not prepared for such a different experience from your sister.

So let me give you the back story on my pregnancy with Gabe:  When I found out I was pregnant with Gabriel, I was in the best shape of my life.  I was working out (hard) every day and eating a perfect diet.  I was laser-focused and feeling great.

A couple of months into the pregnancy, I started blacking out due to hypoglycemia.  This spurred an ultrasound and it was discovered that I had placenta previa.  Well, my pregnancy exercises went right out the window.  I spent the rest of my pregnancy on my back, in bed.  I felt like my muscles were melting, my energy was vanishing and my morale was very low.  It is hard for an active person to be inactive.

After a successful delivery, I found it really difficult to find the sheer motivation to work out again.  Routine is everything and I certainly was out of routine.  Eventually, I was working out again – less intensity than before but regularly.  My hips didn’t go back to their original shape, okay fine.  My hair was falling out, been there before.  I was peeing myself when I did jump squats, say what?!  That was new.

Like most of you, I just thought the little tinkle when you laugh or sneeze was just one of those random postpartum things every woman experiences.  I didn’t realize it was part of something larger – pelvic floor dysfunction – and I had other symptoms.

A few years later I would run into some pretty scary kidney problems that would land me in the doctor’s office regularly, checking my numbers and symptoms.  After going gluten-free vegan, becoming a pro hydrator and religiously taking an assortment of supplements and teas, my kidneys were working like rock stars.  So you can imagine my confusion when I still had lower back pain and I frequently had to pee URGENTLY.

It was then that I was able to separate those symptoms and see that maybe I had pelvic floor dysfunction.  This was only a matter of months ago so I’m just beginning my journey.  I was shocked to see the 30 day program Abs, Core & Pelvic Floor pop onto my radar at such an opportune time and couldn’t wait to give it a try.

Personal trainer Natalie Hodson teamed up with Dr. Monique Middlekauf, a specialist in pelvic floor dysfunction, to create  Abs, Core & Pelvic Floor, a program designed to help women address diastasis recti, pelvic floor issues, including incontinence.  If you are not familiar with diastasis recti, it is a condition that often occurs after pregnancy that leaves a gap between the abdominal muscles… no more 6 pack, hello “mommy pooch”.  Yes, there is an actual medical reason for that postpartum tummy pouch that just won’t go away – and you can do something about it.

Abs, Core & Pelvic Floor offers a really detailed explanation of pelvic floor issues (and diastasis recti) and tons of important information for those who are dealing with them.  You’ll find nutrition recommendations, exercises and – here’s a REALLY important tip – exercises you shouldn’t be doing.  Exercises like crunches (those are terrible anyway) planks, scissor kicks, V-ups (those are a bear!) and more should be eliminated completely.

One of the most difficult aspects of postpartum is positive self talk.  Woman are judged so harshly on their physical appearance, especially by other women and especially after childbirth.  It can be easy to be really hard on yourself, I know.  There are high expectations set by ourselves and others to “lose the baby weight” ASAP.  Having a pouch from diastasis recti or totally peeing your pants in public are not great for the confidence either.  This program has a focus on daily affirmations, which I think is SO important.  In the program, you’ll also set goals and put your game plan into action.

I don’t have time to hit the gym but everyone has time to work out if it is important to them.  I’ve always been a big fan of at-home workout programs and Abs, Core & Pelvic Floor fits right in.  I might have a little onlooker or two, but they are just my personal cheerleaders.  Pull the program up on your desktop, your tablet, your phone, whatever is convenient for you.

Ready to heal, tone and strengthen?  Head over to Natalie Hodson’s website to learn more!



This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Natalie Hodson, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #abscorepelvicfloor

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