I’m pretty sure most Mum’s will agree. During those first few months after labour, along with fluctating hormones and a roller-coaster of emotions, many women experience equally fluctuating physical sensations. Strange and quirky feelings of ‘whats that running down my..’ and ‘ouf whats that cramp’ can leave you feeling achy and yes, sometimes even irritated.
At 7 months postpartum, I’m finally beginning to ‘feel like myself’ again. However, the process of pregnancy, along with carrying around a newborn and running after a toddler have definitely had an affect on my posture.
If you’ve been following StrongLikeMum for a while, you’ll know i’m passionate about building stable foundations and as a woman’s posture is greatly impacted during pregnancy, it’s important to regain a correct stance after birth. Along with suitable exercises, there are some lifestyle changes which can also help regain a balanced core.
So here are a few tips that helped get me back on track (pun intended).
1. Nurse with support
I detailed my experience with breastfeeding in a recent blog post, however this isn’t about how it made me feel. This tip is all about physical support when nursing. Alongside finding a comfortable chair to nurse in, try using a pillow or cushion to keep your back straight but also comfortable. Try switching your breastfeeding position regularly during the feed and perhaps even nurse your baby whilst standing and moving around.
2. Get the lift
After giving birth the hormones in your body change and due to the increase in prolactin ( a hormone that helps you produce breastmilk) and the increase in blood flow, your breast will grow even larger then they were during pregnancy. Although this might be welcome news to some, trustee, the joy of finally having a decent cup size is short-lived and after a while the weight of your increased bust can take it’s toll on your posture. So alongside supporting your back whilst nursing, it’s important to continually support your breast throughout the day.
3. Stretch it out
Nursing a baby, carrying a toddler and lifting bags, can all cause stiffness in your neck and back. So stretching these areas regularly is key to releasing tensions and assisting proper posture. But don’t forget about other muscles groups such as Hamstrings and Glutes. You’ll be surprised at how a kinetic chain can be impacted by a shift in gravity such a during pregnancy.
4. Pelvic floor
Working your pelvic floor is important throughout life. However particular focus is placed on this muscle group during pregnancy. The Pelvic Floor is a key component to supporting your body throughout pregnancy, as well as afterwards. After baby has arrived the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynocologists suggests that you can begin working on these exercises as soon as you feel able. Regaining a strong pelvic floor after pregnancy will assist with maintaining a strong core and therefore will encourage correct posture.
5. Sit Straight
Alongside standing and walking, your posture when sitting is important. In a world where technology is a part of every day life, the upper back and shoulders often suffer from tightness due to leaning over and ‘hunching’. Be sure to take regular brakes from working or reading and remember to stretch problem areas on a daily basis.
Join me over on Instagram where I recently shared some of my favourite release exercises and will be sharing more tips on postnatal exercise soon! Til then, wish me luck!!! Ezra’s getting more teeth and sleep has been thin on the ground in our house!
xx Shakira xx