Pregnancy is a wonderful thing, but even the easiest pregnancies take their toll on your body and overall health. It doesn’t help either that at the time in your life when you could really do with time to focus on your own health and wellbeing, it’s also a point when you’ll have the least time you’ve ever had to focus on yourself.
Spending months carrying around a baby can cause huge problems with your joints and posture. Many women suffer from SPD, which is caused when the bones of the pelvis start moving apart during pregnancy, causing a lot of pain and difficulty moving. Usually, this clears up after giving birth but then you are left with a different problem. Your stomach muscles will be very weak after giving birth, causing you to hunch over a lot. Add to that the hours your spend hunched over, feeding your baby, and changing them, you could be adding more pressure to your neck shoulders, and spine. Visiting a chiropractor can help get your body back in alignment and improve your general posture and associated aches and pains.
Those first weeks and months with a baby can be exhausting. Little sleep, not knowing if it’s night or day, and rushed meals that may not be very healthy. Now is the time you need good nutrition to help you feel better and give your body exactly what it needs. This is even more important if you’re breastfeeding too.
It’s going to take a while to get your stomach muscles back into any kind of shape. They’ve spent months being stretched, and in many cases split, which is known as diastasis recti. This condition is thought to affect 60% of pregnant women. It’s important to find out if you have this condition. Usually, when you want to get your core in shape, you do exercises like crunches, planks, and sit-ups. These exercises are the exact wrong type to do if you have diastasis recti and could even make it worse. Consult your doctor or a physio to find out if you have this and ask them to recommend a specialist exercise program to help reverse it.
One of the least talked about but most experienced post-partum symptoms. A weakened pelvic floor can lead to bladder issues and reduced sensitivity during sex. As soon as you’re cleared by your doctor, you should be doing pelvic floor exercises daily. If you’re still experiencing issues, don’t just put it down as something you have to put up with, see your doctor, who will be able to refer you for specialist physiotherapy or other treatment. It really will improve your life.
It can take a long time to feel like your old self again after a baby. There’s a lot of pressure on women to lose weight quickly once they’ve given birth. While being overweight can bring its own health problems, you have to look at your physical and mental health as a whole to rebalance your body and feel good.