Exercise after birth can have many beneficial effects such as helping posture return to normal, increasing strength around the pelvis and back, assisting return to pre-pregnancy weight, improving muscular tone and cardiovascular fitness, reducing incontinence, and improving your strength to help you cope with the demands of your new baby.
Exercise may also help with the recovery of pregnancy related pelvic pain and Diastasis Recti [abdominal separation], however your exercise program will need to be specially tailored if you are suffering with either of these conditions. Therefore, it is useful to attend a Physiotherapist-led class so you can rehabilitate safely and effectively.
It is also a good idea to introduce exercise gradually after childbirth, beginning with low impact exercise and core strengthening, before you start any high impact or more loading types of exercise.
ReNew Mums is a Pilates-based exercise class just for Mums, specially designed for the postnatal woman from 6 weeks post birth. The class will aim at restoring and strengthening your core, pelvic floor, upper and lower body, whilst re-educating your post-pregnancy posture, in a safe and low impact way. This will ensure that your pelvic floor is protected as you exercise. Exercises will be adapted and progressed using equipment such as foam rollers, magic circles, weights, balls and exercise bands, in order to target muscles more specifically and increasing the effectiveness of your workout.
Normal recommendations regarding exercise after childbirth advise 6 weeks for normal deliveries and 8 weeks for Caesarean sections. This is to allow for normal tissue healing times, and to let your body recover adequately. Bleeding may persist for up to 2 weeks after birth and your uterus can take up 6 weeks to return to its normal size.
Your ligaments can stay lax for up to 5 months after birth and so it is important that you do not overstretch during this time. It is important that you have had your 6 week postnatal check with your GP before you start your Clinical Pilates program, in order to check that you are medically safe and ready to go. You will not require a letter from your GP if you had an uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery however you will require a letter if you had a more complicated delivery or medical presentation.
The timescales for beginning exercise vary from woman to woman and so don’t feel despondent if you don’t feel ready at 6 weeks, it may just take a little longer for some women to recover, whereas some women may feel ready to begin light exercise sooner if they have had an uncomplicated delivery.
Before you start the ReNew Mums program, it is important that you have had a postnatal assessment beforehand. This will involve an online pre-assessment screening form, followed by a face-to-face assessment.
The pre-assessment is important, as your instructor will need to know if you are having any issues with your pelvic floor or if you are having any symptoms that may indicate a prolapse, incontinence or tummy separation. If you are having such symptoms, these will have to be checked thoroughly before you commence exercise as your symptoms may be affected or made worse by exercise.
The pre-assessment is also important in order to make sure that you know the Pilates basics before entering the class and to start you on a gentle home exercise program that is specific to you.
You will not require a letter from your GP if you had an uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery however you will require a letter if you had a more complicated delivery or medical presentation.
The Renew Mums Program will take place at our fabulous new studio in Aspley Guise. For further details or to book an appointment please contact us.