Top 6 Postpartum Mistakes and What to do Instead
Pregnancy, such a blessing yet some would say it is a double edge sword because of what it does to womens bodies….. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree because the female body does go through a good bit. BUT our bodies were mean’t to withstand it, right? Pregnancy wasn’t created yesterday. However there are some things we can do and shouldn’t do during and after pregnancy that can really affect getting back to pre pregnancy weight and shape.
The urge to lose the baby weight gained right after giving birth is real for most women, however this is a time that the body needs to heal…. it went through 9 months of change and pressure and it is going to take some time to get back to where it should. I understand how that can be really hard to comprehend but it is something that needs to be put into perspective. Adding more stress to a stressed out body is not going to do any good in the long run. That is why I am going to outline the top 6 mistakes I see made postpartum so if you are a woman who is in this position or have been, you will know what not to do! And don’t worry I will be giving some advice on what to do instead :).
Pregnancy didn’t RUIN you! You just gotta be patient :).
You run right back to cross fit or intense hiit training like you did before you were pregnant or even during pregnancy.
Kudos to you if you have endurance enough while caring for a new born to get back into that intense stuff! Seriously! However that isn’t my point, post partum women still have an influx of hormones throughout their bodies for a while after they give birth. If you are breastfeeding they are there even longer. Some of these hormones make muscles and joints have more laxity meaning intense movements can cause over stretching or tearing or even worse dislocation of the joints. Also your pelvic floor is also probably not 100% so any tightness or looseness there will only worsen with high impact activities or straining. There are certain things you can be doing right after giving birth to work on this, but most importantly you have to take time to let your body heal. Your core is overstretched and you may also have diastasis recti which can worsen too if you strain too much. I recommend following a postnatal plan to work on imbalances and build a foundation before you ever run back to this. Down the road I promise you will thank me.
Not eating enough
It is only natural to want the weight off. However you have to remember if you are breastfeeding you need nutrients to your baby, secondly your body needs them to heal. Starving yourself will not only harm yourself by lack of nutrients and ultimately slowing down your metabolism; but it will also cause you to be exhausted which will not go over well with already sleepless nights. Do your best to eat healthy nutrient dense foods to help your body repair itself and be your best self for your new baby. You can find a free list of foods that are great options here.
Doing all the crunches
Oh lawd….. if you only knew the harm you are doing to yourself by crunching and planking right after pregnancy. Even if you had a strong foundation prior, you still need to allow your body to heal, AND get checked to make sure you didnt get diastasis even a small bit. Learning how to breathe properly by letting your diaphragm fill up and ribs expand during inhales then following with pulling your pelvic floor and core together during exhales is the ultimate key. That is the absolute safest way to get your core foundation going to where you can do those crunches and planks at the appropriate time.
Not drinking enough water
Hydration is key to so much. When your body is trying to repair itself it needs to be hydrated. It helps cell repair, it helps our brains function, it helps with digestion. With breastfeeding it helps ensure you produce enough milk too. If you are dehydrated you will feel so much more fatigued than you typically would as well. You want to take care of yourself for not only you now but your growing family too!
I know this is hard to hear for so many ladies who love to run. It is there escape, and I get it! I want you to get back to that. However just like with the crossfit and HIIT exercises running puts impact especially on the pelvic floor. It needs to be re-established and have a solid foundation before any impact work including running should happen. Start with brisk walks, I know it may not be the same but just try to be patient. You will get back to running!
Get waaay to little sleep
It goes without saying that sleep is a luxury when you have a newborn (most of the time). What I mean by this last mistake is more about not taking advantage of the rest time you do have to take care of you. You need rest. It is just as vital to you as your baby. So take a nap when he/she is. Take a nap while rocking them. Try to sleep when they do here and there. The stress can be real, but it can be so much worse if you are not taking care of yourself. Your already out of whack hormones will only get worse from the stress on your body.
Bottom line you should take from this is, be patient, go slow, your body just went through a TON of changes and it takes time to reverse those. Celebrate having your baby, take care of your body and go about things the right way for long term success.
As always feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns ! And if you are ready to take your postnatal health/ training to the next level then let me know here!