Last week, I spoke about postpartum fitness to a group of new (or expectant) mamas. It was AWESOME to be able to share tips that would help them determine whether their exercise program was HURTING THEM, or HELPING THEM. (If you’re thinking, “what??? Exercise can hurt you?” then read on… This is info all women need to know!)
These moms were ROCKIN’ it.
All of them were runners, some of them even marathon runners. But despite their dedication to fitness, they needed to be reminded about two important “check-ins” when it comes to women’s fitness (particularly postpartum fitness):
- Your pelvic floor (Can you do a kegel? Are you having bladder control issues? Might you have prolapse?)
- Your tummy (Do you have Diastasis Recti? If so, how significant?)
We need to be reminded to check-in about these things! I’ll admit; it’s easy to forget when life gets hectic (especially after baby). How many women barrel into a postpartum fitness program without considering whether or not their bodies are READY? I know I did… And I had training in women’s health physical therapy. I should have known better!
I guess that’s the point… Even if you “should know better,” sometimes life gets in the way and you forget to take stock of where your body is before beginning a fitness program (postpartum or not). But please know that if you don’t check in on your body, you could be doing yourself more harm than good.
If you’re a fitness trainer, you need to be assessing your female clients (all female clients, whether they’re recently postpartum or not) about these issues as well. The topics are somewhat personal, but your clients will THANK YOU for “going there” as long as you’re sensitive and confidential about it. The Diastasis Recti check takes just a moment, and the pelvic floor questions can be asked briefly (or even on an intake questionnaire) without making anyone too red-in-the-face.
Trainers, this is really important so I’m going to state it again:
For your female clients, check in on the status of their tummy and pelvic floor to CYA (cover your ass). You don’t want to contribute to someone’s prolapse, bladder leakage, or — heaven forbid, a hernia! Can you imagine how terrible you’d feel if you contributed to a hernia by unknowingly overworking a woman with Diastasis Recti with your “ab-killer” routine full of planks, crunches, and jackknife exercises!??
Take a moment to check to keep your clients SAFE, healthy, and moving FORWARD in their postpartum fitness program.
Whether you’re a new mom, an expectant mom, a 20-years postpartum mom, or a fitness trainer, watch this postpartum fitness video! It’s 53 minutes long, so it’s a time commitment, but I offer valuable tips, strategies, and check-ins (specifically for the pelvic floor and tummy) that will keep you (or your clients) healthy and safe, and more aware of your postpartum body.
And if you have more time, don’t miss this fantastic interview I did on the Better Everyday Podcast:
Remember, everyone is different. Every day is different. Honor your body and its needs at this moment in time, wherever you are on your fitness journey (or your postpartum recovery journey)!
If you have ANY QUESTIONS about your specific postpartum fitness needs, TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR or schedule an appointment with a women’s health physical therapist. This blog post (and the video above) is not meant to be a substitute for individualized medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Talk to a professional if you need to. You’re worth taking the time and making the effort!