Knowledge Nuggets - Things to Consider when Returning to Exercise After Giving Birth


Welcome to Knowledge Nuggets! Bite sized chats to pick the brains of experts - helping you to live your best life inside and outside of the gym!

In this nugget I chat to Laura Tilson, an osteopath specialising in women’s health and paediatrics.

Hope you enjoy it! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Below is a summary of the topics we discuss…

1. ACKNOWLEDGE - the huge changes that have happened through your body – from the stretch of the soft tissues of your abdomen to the change in your gait, the laxity through your ligaments, changes in your spinal curves, changes in your physiology (heart rate, metabolic rate, breathing rate), the impact breast feeding maybe continuing to have on your ligaments.

2. REHAB - this should be your first step to returning to exercise. There are amazing specialists and courses you can follow in the weeks after having your baby. And it’s never too late to do this part of your postnatal training.

3. CHECK FOR CONDITIONS THAT MIGHT DELAY YOUR RETURN TO EXERCISE - Have a check up with a Women’s Health Osteo/Physio – it’s considered to be the gold standard of health care. Get your deep core integration checked, diastasis and ability to support it checked, check for over gripping through upper abdominals/pelvic floor, painful scar tissue from c sections or episiotomies, pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence.

4. DON’T IGNORE SYMPTOMS - treatment is out there for things like prolapse, dyspareunia. These things are common but we don’t have to put up with them.

5. TAKE IT SLOW - Be aware you may feel vulnerable physically after pregnancy and your body needs time to adapt again to avoid injuries like tendonopathies.

6. RECOGNISE YOU ARE ON LOW BATTERY - most new mums are up regularly in the night, fatigue slows your reaction rates increasing your risk of injury and slowing your recovery rate.

7. GET THE RIGHT TEAM AROUND YOU - avoid anyone who doesn’t understand Women’s Health/Hormones/hasn’t had training in postnatal training, anyone who isn’t comfy talking about urinary incontinence/pelvic organ prolapse etc, anyone focused on losing weight only.

8. UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF LIFTING WEIGHTS/RESISTANCE TRAINING FOR LONG TERM HEALTH - Weights are really great for balancing your hormones and maintaining your bone strength. 1 IN 3 women will experience an osteoporotic fracture in their life time and we want to prevent this by maintaining our mineral density which peaks at 20 years of age. Lifting weights increases boney remodelling which keeps them strong by reducing bone loss.

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