I am a certified personal trainer, and I see so many posts pregnant women have their babies and jump on the Post Pregnancy Fitness Plan bandwagon. I know this happened to me. It happened to me when I was standing in the shower, barely having time to breathe after giving birth to my first child and looking down at my still very pregnant looking belly and thinking “I need to go to the gym asap!” Now for a mum not even shy of ten minutes after pushing out her baby, this is not normal behaviour. But it is thought about a lot by post pregnant women.
The unsettling realisation that your stomach hasn't automatically shrunk is a huge motivator (at least it was for me) that the gym is going to need to be a huge priority once you can walk normally again. My Post Pregnancy Fitness Plan following the birth of my premature baby was almost immediate. Whilst my situation is fairly rare, many women think about their Post Pregnancy Fitness Plan too.
My Post Pregnancy Fitness Plan consisted of a lot of yoga. Hot Yoga. Once I stopped breastfeeding, I was in that studio almost daily trying to work off the horrible weight that I had put on over a period of three months. Picture a hospital stay of over three months with VIP access to the cafeteria and later anything and everything on the menu. I got to a point where my life revolved around the menu. That certainly added to the thirty kilograms I put on in that pregnancy. So my need to lose the weight was out of desperation. A hospital diet certainly doesn’t help with the Post Pregnancy Fitness Plan.
So looking back at my Post Pregnancy Fitness Plan I will just preface it with I shouldn’t have been doing what I was doing. The proper trainer led program is focused on recovery, slow and supervised exercises, wearing a splint and learning to move and exercise in a diastasis safe way. This is not what I did, and I will be the first to admit it probably increased my abdominal separation (particularly at the top).
I was including backbends, dogs, planks, pilates, crunches, side crunches and virtually every move that they recommend avoiding when you have had children or indeed have a diastasis recti. So the moral of my story; don’t do what I did and jump into a Post Pregnancy Fitness Plan without consulting with a diastasis trained professional (Claire or Clair from No Mummy Tummy). You want to avoid further complications and any further stretch in your connective tissue.
The proper Post Pregnancy Fitness Plan includes this:
A four-step program led and supervised by one of the No Mummy Tummy trained and certified Tupler Technique practitioners. The program involves:
- Exercising safely
- Wearing the diastasis splint
- Protecting and strengthening the core
- Moving diastasis safe
By using the above four steps, women can heal their stretched connective tissue, learn to protect it by wearing a Diastasis Recti approved splint and have a tailored Post Pregnancy Fitness Plan which allows them to exercise in a safe manner.