27.1.2019- Sadhbh is 20 days old

So the first 17 days with our precious baby girl has went by in a blur- I can’t believe she is almost 3 weeks already! I won’t pretend that it has been all love and cuddles, its been very hard work! But as I watch her have a “tummy time” nap whilst I write this- there’s one thing I’m certain of- the sleepless nights and tears and frustration at times is so so worth it.

 

The past 17 days have been a very steep learning curve, full of cluster feeds, trapped wind, sleep deprivation and more love than I’ve ever thought possible. There’s a few things I’ve learned for sure that I’ll mention now, and show a few “exercises” that I’ve been doing to help keep the postnatal aches and pains away and set a good foundation for when I’m ready to start a gradual return to exercise.

 

Firstly, lessons learnt, in no particular order:

 

 

Now for the physio bit! As I work so much with new mums I’m very interested in my own recovery and how I feel physically definitely impacts on how I feel mentally. It has been very difficult to find even 10 minutes on some days to do some gentle stretches and tummy release around all the newborn needs and trying to catch up on some sleep myself during the day.  “Sleep when the baby sleeps” isn’t as easy as you’d think! Either is remembering to take care of yourself when you’re in a newborn haze. The movements I am showing here are not any more exertion on my body than caring for my baby and as a health professional I have assessed them as safe for me- however I recommend seeking professional advice before undertaking any form of exercise or restorative movement in the postnatal period. All pictures were taken at 10 days postnatal- excuse the whiter than white complexion and hair that says it hasn’t been brushed in a week- keeping it real here!

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Whilst it’s too soon for me to think of returning to exercise as my body is still very much in rest and recovery mode at this very early stage, there are a few “exercises” I have been doing, mainly to keep mobility in my hips, spine and shoulders and trying to engage the pelvic floor and core. I’ve added a few photos to show these basic mobility moves; also the changes in my posture that are very typically seen in any new mother. These were taken at 10 days post birth. I’ve included a pic of me wearing a pair of EVB underwear (dark top with my lovely slippers on lol) and without (flowery grey t-shirt) so you can see the difference some decent core support makes- EVBs are so so comfy and I can really feel them give me the support I need at this time. I wear them if we are going out and about or for walks, they have been a brilliant support and I intend on buying more pairs for when I am ready to return to some exercise.

 

The typical new mother posture in pic below- head quite far forward from shoulders, shoulders are rounded and upper back is slightly rounded. Hips are pushing forward from the body with tummy out in front, bottom “tucked under” and over extending through my knees. The picture above in my lovely slippers is me with some good core support from a pair of EVBs and the difference it has made to my posture is clear to see, especially my upper body and around my pelvis. They are definitely worth every penny ladies- invest in yourself!

 

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My “New Mum Moves” are as follows:

 

Puppy stretch- great for releasing the mid back and shoulders, taking a few deep breaths and allowing the chest to drop as far as is comfortable towards the mat.

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As regards car of my c-section scar- so far it is healing well and I have been very lucky to avoid infection. The scar itself and my lower abdomen still feel a little tender- but this eases well with some gentle massage and breathing exercises to release tension. I also use a soft makeup brush above, below and on the scar to help with sensitivity and am finding it very useful- I have only started this now that the wound has fully closed and the skin is fully healthy. Here again I feel the evb shorts help as they give gentle support that helps reduce sensitivity.

 

And there you have it! Gentle movement that can really help with physical and mental wellbeing in the early postpartum period. There are quite a few other moves I would like to add here but I thought it best to keep it relatively short and sweet and feel that these moves are the foundation for any further rehab such as squats and lifting prep. I want to emphasise again that any and all exercise in the postpartum period should ideally come with a thorough postnatal assessment- Physios are ideally placed for this as experts in the muscloskeletal system considering the vast changes that happen to your body in such a short period of time during the childbearing year. I have my postnatal physio health check booked for 6 weeks postpartum and am looking forward to learning more about my own body and progressing through my rehab journey (hint hint- further blog post lol).

 

Are you a new mum and have you seen a pelvic health physio? Are your kids a bit older but you are still having symptoms? Get yourself booked to see a pelvic health physio today!

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