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How this postpartum PT returned to fitness

Published Oct 7th, 2020 by

Melissa Neilsen

As a Personal Trainer, Melissa Neilsen was determined to stay fit throughout her third pregnancy and snap back into "doing it all" straight after giving birth. But what she didn't expect was to prolapse 3 weeks postpartum. Here she shares her story of her recovery.

How this postpartum PT returned to fitness
Five years after my second child was born I had a longing for just one more baby! My first two pregnancies and births were so 'easy' I knew I’d totally rock this mum-of-three gig. Being a Personal Trainer, I was going to stay fit and not gain too much of the dreaded baby weight. I’d seen other insta-famous mums do it so I could too, right?! I was a runner! I loved to run but I did have to give that up at about 28 weeks when my body just couldn’t get comfortable with it anymore. Too much pressure down there! It felt like I was going to pee myself every time I ran! RED FLAG! Everything else though I continued with right up until 35 weeks. Our beautiful baby boy was brought into the world without too much of a fuss. I was checked out of hospital less than 24hrs after his arrival, and returned home to our farm 500km from the city just 5 days after birth. I thought I was going to do it all – look amazing, lose the baby weight, care for the family, the workmen, all the family pets, visitors, manage the household just as I did before – you catch my drift?! I was superwoman! Until Week 3 postpartum. I prolapsed. No-one told me the risks of overdoing it! When they told me to take it easy they didn’t say 'because you run the risk of pelvic floor dysfunction'. Scared and upset about what was happening to my body, I made an appointment with my local midwife who referred me to a physio. The first part of my return to fitness became all about restoring the function of my core and pelvic floor. I did 6 months of physio where I learnt how to properly activate and release my pelvic floor and transverse abdominal muscles along with working on safely performing basic exercise movements. In that time I also started regular walking, and as time went on I added in some interval runs. It was 12 months before I went for my first proper run – it was incredibly slow and quite hard and I remember being so disappointed with how unfit I was. (I used to run 5-10km daily). I was lifting weights way lighter than before but I was determined to stay consistent and build my strength back little by little. I had to get mentally tough on myself. I had to promise myself I would be kind to my body and just accept that it would take time and I would get there one day. One day seemed like forever away. Every time I got on that treadmill I just wished it would be easier, that I’d already be at my goal. There were good days and bad days but I stayed consistent and at 24 months postpartum when I reflected on how far I’d come, I finally felt like I had returned to 'fit'. As much as I hated that I prolapsed it was actually a blessing in disguise. It made me really work on myself. Both physically and mentally. I have learnt so much about the incredible female body and I have a whole new level of respect for it. I am back exercising daily, running often, lifting weights plus training clients and helping other women return to exercise safely. I wouldn’t say I’m back to my old self though because I am so much stronger than ever before. This time I have built my body back from the inside out and it feels great! Melissa is one of our newest affiliate team members; she currently works with mums online and will soon be launching face to face sessions in Hughenden, QLD. To get in touch, please fill out this form.
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Melissa Neilsen
MumSafe™ Trainer at 

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