How to support your body and mind (safely) after birth
Becoming a mum can be a wonderful experience and for some it can also be very stressful.
For many of us it’s an amazing mixture of ‘the best thing ever’ and “how on earth am I going to get through this!?!”. Being aware of and gaining support for both our body and mind can make a huge difference.
Having worked with mums in the fitness industry for over 13 years I have seen so many women struggle with the pressures of body image or striving for pre-baby body goals yet exercise or movement is often suggested to help to support mental health; this can definitely become a double edged sword.
Here are a few of my top thoughts….
Know your self worth is not wrapped up in your body size –
Many of us have experienced some variation of disordered eating or over-exercising that comes down to thinking that we are more valued in a smaller body. Know that this is not the case and that striving to be smaller will not make you more lovable – YOU are the only person that needs to love you more.
Understand your birth experience –
When your birth experience is a blur and your body is not co-operating in the way that it once did it can be confusing at least and incredibly stressful at best. Asking all the questions to understand the birth and then where your body is right now will empower you both emotionally and physically moving forward. Going back to your GP, midwife, or OB to ask for a de-brief is absolutely okay.
Get to know your body from the inside out –
From years of experience I know that your 6- week check-up is not enough to safely return you to exercise. Getting to know how your pelvic floor functions right now, if you have any abdominal separation along with the rehab that you need to re-build from the inside out to ensure you have a strong foundation to carry you forward will help to keep you moving injury free for years to come.
Know it’s okay to find it hard –
The more we talk about the challenges of motherhood the more we create space for others to do the same. ALL aspects of being a mum can be difficult and there is no merit in keeping up appearances for the benefit of others. Finding a supportive group of women to share the ups and downs of this journey with you can be an absolute game changer. It’s one of the most beautiful aspects of a mums & bubs group exercise class. You are all there together, moving for both your mind and body and are there to support each other. I’ve seen lifelong friendships formed and physical and mental shifts happen in these environments and it’s just beautiful.
Jen Dugard is the founder and creator of MumSafe™️ - the go-to website for mums to connect with Personal Trainers & exercise services that are certified, experienced and partner with Women’s Health Physiotherapists so that you know you are in very safe hands.
Head to www.mumsafe.com.au