How to Exercise After Giving Birth

August 4, 2014 at 1:30 PM

As a Certified Pre- and Postnatal Pilates Specialist and health coach who focuses on counseling mothers, I work with a lot of new moms desperate to lose weight after the birth of a baby. Many women cannot (and sometimes do not) wait for medical clearance before returning to the rigorous exercise regimens they had before they became pregnant. They're so determined to slip back into their skinny jeans that they don’t stop to think how their actions may be harming their health.

How can we convince new moms that it's perfectly acceptable and even important to embrace their postnatal figures and treat their bodies gently? Everywhere you turn, you'll find a magazine featuring the latest celebrity who's lost all of her pregnancy weight within three months of giving birth. These images set impossibly high standards that many feel pressured to meet. We overlook that these celebrities are paid to look a certain way. As a result, they often resort to unhealthy calorie restriction, fad diets and countless hours of grueling workouts with professional trainers. Let’s not forget that many of those images are airbrushed!

The reality is that childbirth is a tremendous ordeal which leaves a woman’s body with a long list of limitations and vulnerabilities. Here are a few good reasons for mothers to slow down and ease back into their fitness routine after having a baby.

Sign Up for E-News

Wobbly Joints

Relaxin, the hormone that's responsible for softening your joints during pregnancy and delivery, remains in your system for up to five or six months after childbirth. Performing traditional forms of exercise such as aerobics, running or tennis during these early months will make you susceptible to injury. Why not try walking or swimming, which are kinder and gentler on your joints?

Weak Pelvic Floor 

The pelvic floor is often significantly traumatized after a vaginal delivery. Think of your pelvic floor as a trampoline holding your vaginal wall, rectum and urethra together. During a vaginal birth, the muscles around the vagina will stretch and the bladder can start to drop, causing urinary incontinence. Incontinence is quite common and may continue for months after childbirth. The pelvic floor muscles work together to hold your organs in position and maintain continence. Kegels and exercises designed to strengthen those muscles are an important part of any postnatal exercise regimen. It’s best to hold off on forms of exercise involving jumping, running or other high-intensity workouts that will only magnify the problem.

Lactic Acid 

Exercise should not adversely affect a nursing mother’s milk production so long as adequate fluids and caloric intake are maintained. Studies have shown, however, that long or rigorous workouts can cause a buildup of lactic acid in breast milk and create a sour and unpleasant taste for babies. Sticking with low to moderate physical activity should prevent any breastfeeding problems in that regard.

Diastasis 

More and more women are experiencing a separation of their recti muscles (in an ideal world, the “six-pack”) during pregnancy. The increasing number of women with diastasis may be due to improved fitness levels and abdominal muscles that are too tight to accommodate a growing uterus. To prevent diastasis, it's important to do the correct type of exercises during pregnancy as well as after childbirth. Flexion exercises such as crunches and sit ups should not be performed after the first trimester of pregnancy. Similarly, flexion exercises should be avoided after childbirth if the separation of your recti muscles exceeds the width of 2 ½ fingers. Planks, on the other hand, are an excellent way to tone post natal abdominals.

There is plenty of time for running and vigorous cardio exercise once your body heals, but it's more important to rehabilitate yourself during those first few months after giving birth. A postnatal Pilates class can be a wonderful way to reconnect with your body, strengthen your core and pelvic floors muscles, and heal a diastasis. Walking and swimming are also a great way to improve aerobic fitness and get your heart pumping.

The most important thing is to embrace your body for all of the wonderful things it's capable of. You and your baby are truly a miracle!

In September 2013, Pilates instructors Mindy Catron, Tara Roscioli and Gwen Swanson Vigorito had a vision. They wanted to create a warm and inviting center to house a host of holistic services that would compliment their existing Pilates practice. A substantial part of that business would be dedicated to Pilates and the strengthening and alignment of the body. They would also offer therapeutic massage which would further nurture the body. Additionally, this center would offer holistic health coaching which would focus on aligning a healthy emotional relationship with food with a strong, healthy and vibrant body.  As such, it seemed fitting and appropriate to name their new venture Align Wellness Studio.

Over the next several months, the Align Wellness team eagerly anticipates the addition of other services and classes to meet their clients' needs. Stay tuned for information on parent/child yoga classes, acupuncture and more as things continue to unfold at Align.

Align Wellness Studio: 10 E. Willow Street, Millburn, NJ; Tel: 973-376-4166; www.align-wellness-studio.com.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Millburn/Short Hills

Senior Rabbi of B'nai Jeshurun of Short Hills Leads 50 Adults to Israel

SHORT HILLS, NJ - Congregation B’nai Jeshurun’s Senior Rabbi, Matthew D. Gewirtz, led a group of 50 adults to Israel in early November. In addition to touring, the trip included Adult B’nai Mitzvah services and discussions with local leaders on various aspects of life in Israel.

Rabbi Gewirtz began his tenure as the Senior Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in ...

Millburn-Short Hills Set to Ring In the Year of the Rooster at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum

January 15, 2017

SHORT HILLS, NJ - The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is set to kick off on January 28, ushering out the year of the monkey and welcoming in the Year of the Rooster. To mark this joyful new beginning the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum is partnering with the Chinese Association of Millburn-Short Hils, Millburn High School, and the Wushu-Kung Fu Fitness Center on Saturday, January 22 ...

Theft at Louis Vuitton; Fraud and Forgery Strike Nordstrom at Short Hills Mall

January 14, 2017

On January 5, 2017 Millburn Police Officer Zonn responded to the Louis Vuitton store at The Mall at Short Hills on a theft report. Louis Vuitton personnel report a Hispanic male wearing an olive colored jacket and jeans concealed a pair of sunglasses valued at $760.00 and left the store without making payment. The incident is under investigation by the Millburn Police Detective Bureau.

On ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_59a7b4018b794b227aba_45e6b0efac0b3744f6ac_download__3_

Tue, January 17, 7:30 PM

Town Hall - Committee Room, Millburn

Township Committee Meeting

Carousel_image_2c171107b5c8914328b0_e57741ca19a9114d6bc1_unnamed__18_

Fri, January 20, 12:00 PM

Oasis Building (behind University Middle School), Irvington

Community Church Oasis Volunteer Opportunity

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_f422456eb0f1fa40d8a2_b73eab72872ab03aae78_veteran-hd-wallpapers-hd-wallpapers-8vznfz-clipart

Sat, January 21, 10:00 AM

Millburn High School, Millburn

Millburn High School Military Appreciation Day ...

Carousel_image_6da8ddb5c1222ab92074_unknown_copy

Sun, January 22, 12:00 PM

Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary, Short Hills

Second Annual Lunar New Year and Welcome Spring ...

Education Green

Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills presents: Murder Mystery Dinner February 11, 2017, 7:00pm

January 16, 2017

Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills presents:

Murder Mystery Dinner

February 11, 2017, 7:00pm

 

Cedar Hill Country Club, 100 Walnut Street, Livingston, NJ (between Rt. 10 and Eisenhower Parkway)
Event Attire: Cocktail Attire
Parking: Complimentary Valet Parking Available

 

Sip signature cocktails while you shop a wide variety of great silent auction items.

Point View Trio of Dietze, Toth and Petrides Present '17 Investment Outlook to Chamber Audience

Forecast with humility, and be skeptical of those who would divine. Think long term; don’t get fixated on an annual outlook.

That was part of the sage financial advice offered up by Point View Wealth Management's Founder, President, and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, as he and the firms Vice President and Chief Operating Office, Claire Toth, and its ...

Essex County Deer Management Program 2017

Essex County, NJ – Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. outlined plans for the 2017 Essex County Deer Management Program in Essex County South Mountain Reservation and Essex County Hilltop Reservation on Tuesday, January 10th. This is the 10th year of the program, which is geared toward revitalizing the forest ecology by reducing the number of deer.

“Controlling the ...

Pure Barre Short Hills Announces 2017 Fitness Challenge

SHORT HILLS, NJ – Pure Barre, the largest and most established barre concept in North America, is pleased to announce the Set The Barre challenge, to help new and existing clients reach their 2017 health and fitness goals.

Whether you’re looking to switch up your fitness routine or start working out, Pure Barre can work with you to accomplish your new years resolutions. Designed to ...

Today’s Bond Market - Should I Stay or Should I Go?

2016’s final days left bond investors unsettled.

Just a few months ago, with the backdrop of the surprise July Brexit vote, U.S. Treasury yields hit record lows. Donald Trump’s election as president has increased concerns of a new round of tax cuts and greater government spending, which could stimulate inflation. The Federal Reserve has finally raised interest rates and is ...