The Extreme Approaches to Postpartum Recovery
It can often feel quite overwhelming when contemplating a return to training or exercise postpartum. There can be so much information out there and, quite often, conflicting advice on what’s best for new mums. Knowing where your focus should lie can be very confusing. In the fitness and health profession, the approach to postpartum recovery appear to sit in two different camps. And they couldn’t be at more extreme ends of the spectrum!
Postpartum Recovery – Camp 1:
At one extreme, we see a strong focus and promotion of “getting your pre-baby body back”. Methods to achieve this range from detoxes and cleanses to intense HIIT sessions and fat burning programmes. There are a multitude of workouts marketed to “blast belly fat” and “lose that mummy tummy”.
Postpartum Recovery – Camp 2:
At the other end of the spectrum, we see those promoting “body positivity”. We are encouraged to embrace and feel confident in our new bodies. This can sometimes go as far as being made to feel ashamed of wanting to lose weight or change your body in any way.
The Middle Ground:
As a post-natal coach, I’m not necessarily firmly against either approach. We are all different, with our own experiences and with a different postpartum journey to embark on. That said, I don’t particularly align or agree with either of these messages. For me, I would prefer to find a middle ground.
In my opinion (and largely backed up by scientific studies), it’s 100% not the best thing for you, your body or your new bubba to sit in the first camp of extreme diets and intense workouts. This will:
a) leave you depleted of energy and feeling exhausted
b) not be sustainable for the long term
and c) don’t even get me started on the impact on your core and pelvic floor!
It’s SO important to rebuild the foundations of your body starting from the inside out. That’s not to say that you can’t eventually get back to all those workouts/sports/activities that you love. There are, however, important steps that you need to take to get there.
As for the second camp, well, it would be amazing if we could all feel 100% confident and happy in our own bodies. But I understand, from personal experience, that this is pretty tough to achieve. This is why I’ve made it my personal mission to educate and guide new mums to help them find that much needed middle ground. This is my camp and this is where I sit, both with my own personal goals and those of the programmes I design for new mums.
More about Me…
I care about how I look. I would be lying if I said I didn’t or that I was entirely happy with every aspect of my appearance. However, I also recognise that my body has brought two amazing little lives into the world and that the way it looks reflects my lifestyle and the importance I place on my health.
I want to be a role model for my two girls and to show them the importance of being strong and healthy without abusing my body through excessive exercise and restrictive eating. I invest time in my health and fitness every week but I don’t kill myself to do it and I certainly don’t punish my body.
Training is an important part of my life both for my physical and mental well being. It’s there to support my lifestyle, not to completely control it.
You don’t have to hate your body. You don’t have to love it 100%. Aim to sit ideally somewhere in the middle!
If this sounds like a place you’d like to get to, please get in touch. I would love to help with your post natal journey.