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Exercising Postnatally – Too Hard, Too Soon.

May 23, 2023   •   
Exercising Postnatally – Too Hard, Too Soon.

Every picture tells a story – how my approach to exercising postnatally put me in hospital!

In this vibrant, fun image below is a tell-tale sign that was overlooked with my postnatal return to exercise and it eventually led me to hospital. I look strong, fit and healthy from the outside but there was something silently sabotaging my fitness journey. Exercising Postnatally was not the smooth journey I had hoped for.

Exercising too hard
Looking back now I can clearly see it, I can see what was wrong. But at the time I was unaware that I was actually experiencing a symptom of abdominal instability and it was something that would lead to a potentially dangerous condition.

If you haven’t spotted it yet – my abdominal area is creating a dome shape as I jump. Take a closer look and you’ll see textbook evidence of doming in my core. Little did I know, this weakness would eventually lead to an umbilical hernia that required surgery and could have turned septic.

Exercising too hard postnatally

Let’s dial this back a bit. Have you ever experienced those moments when you sit up out of bed or perhaps jump, laugh, or even sneeze, only to notice your tummy making a dome shape and bulging out? That’s called doming, and it’s a red flag for a weak abdominal wall and potentially unstable core and pelvic floor.

You might not even realize it’s happening, but doming is actually a clear indication of a weak core and lack of functional tension in the Linea Alba. Addressing this issue is crucial if you want to avoid a potential serious injury and to be able to move with strength and stability and regain a more functional abdominal region.

Believe me, I learned about this the hard way.

Returning to exercise safely and effectively

It wasn’t until I became certified in Safe Return to Exercise and learned how to activate my deep core and pelvic floor that I realized the damage I had unknowingly done to my body whilst exercising postnatally. That’s why I became a MumSafe™️ trainer and why I’m so passionate about helping women return back into exercise safely and effectively.

Whether you were fit and strong before pregnancy or didn’t experience any birth complications, it’s crucial not to rush back into high-intensity workouts. Easing back in doesn’t mean everything has to be at snails pace—it means training smart and keeping your body safe. As a MumSafe™️ trainer, I specialize in helping mums train at their maximum capacity while managing any contraindications and ensuring a safe rebuilding of the core and pelvic floor over time.

Top Tips for Women wanting to train hard postnatally

Here are my top tips for “fit mums” who want to get back to training hard while prioritizing safety:

  • See a Women’s Health Physio: Even if you feel fine, they can diagnose any pelvic floor or core instabilities and guide you on how to rebuild safely and effectively.
  • Get support from a MumSafe™️ trainer: Whether it’s one-on-one personal training, group classes, or online sessions, a MumSafe™️ trainer understands your unique needs, birth story, and health goals. They can work with you to achieve those goals while taking into account any injuries or contraindications.
  • Treat yourself like an athlete: Think of your postpartum recovery as your off-season. Focus on recovering and rehabilitating, so you can come back stronger and more resilient.
  • Follow the guidance of your trainer and physio: Like any athlete recovering from an injury, take it step by step. Practice breathing exercises, activate your deep core and pelvic floor muscles, and diligently complete any rehab exercises recommended to you.
  • Be kind to yourself; it can be frustrating when you’re not performing at your usual intensity. However, it’s even harder to regain fitness from the sidelines, and it can be crushing if you end up with a permanent prolapse.
  • Remember, your safest and most effective pathway back to exercise is with a MumSafe™️ trainer and the guidance of your Women’s Health Physio. They’ll work hand in hand to support you on your postnatal fitness journey.

Let’s rebuild your strength, confidence, and energy so you can get back to doing what you love.

You are not alone

Remember, you don’t have to go through this journey alone. With the right guidance and support from a MumSafe™️ trainer, you can reclaim your fitness, feel stronger and more confident, and enjoy the activities you love. Don’t let postnatal challenges hold you back—take the first step towards a healthier and more empowered you today!

Kate Hickey runs Empower360 Fitness in New South Wales, . Learn more about Kate and Book your Trial today.

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