Bouncing Back After Birth
Having a baby is the most extraordinary thing your body will ever face! You have literally given birth to a living, breathing little human! Crazy right?
Your postpartum body has been put through some extreme changes and utter exhaustion, so of course, it's going to be a long journey bouncing back to the way it was before.
You may have some extra weight, things might not look or feel the same for a while and of course, you now have this new little person to shower with love and affection.
We not only want to support women through pregnancy but on their road to recovery after birth as well!
🤱🏽 What happens to my body after giving birth?
The First 24 hours
A lot will happen in your first 24 hours of giving birth, vaginally or by a C-section. It's completely normal to feel overwhelmed so sit back, and take everything in you have just experienced because let's face it, it's a lot!
There's no easy way to put this so I am going to be straight to the point. You will bleed a lot! This is called lochia, which consists of leftover blood, mucus, and sloughed-off tissue from the lining of the uterus.
This bleeding can last up to 10 days postnatal and at times, several weeks. If you are ever concerned about the excessive bleeding you may be experiencing, please contact your health visitor or GP.
Not to worry, there are plenty of ways to feel more comfortable during this period. Why not treat yourself to some postpartum underwear?
6 Weeks Postpartum
It's said that post natal is only the 6 weeks after birth, which in reality, is frustrating and simply utter rubbish.
One change you will find when you are coming up to your 6 weeks of recovery is that your uterus will be back to its pre-pregnancy size. You will also find that vaginal bleeding will have completely stopped, although it isn't uncommon to experience some bleeding temporarily.
Women can also be cleared from their health visitor or GP to start exercising again and have sexual activity. However, this all depends on how you feel and if you are ready to.
Top Tip: Slow and steady wins the race. Start slowly getting back into exercise, rather than throwing yourself into it. After all, you have just given birth!
6 Months Postpartum
6 months postpartum is a pretty big milestone, you have been looking after and caring for your baby for 6 solid months! I bet a lot has changed with not only you but your baby too.
You may have got your period again by this stage, and your mood swings and hormones should have levelled themselves out.
This is also the stage where your milk supply might begin to dry up and you should have full control of your bladder again! (I hope you have been doing your pelvic floor exercises.)
Why you need a Postpartum Belt!
It's nice to feel supported through your pregnancy, but what about afterwards? Women tend to forget about themselves from the day their baby is born and their key focus is on making sure their baby is healthy and happy.
Don't get me wrong this is important, but it is also important to make sure you're looking after you!
We want to tell you all about the benefits of investing in a postpartum belt which, will not only offer support, but it is an easy way to rebuild your core muscle memory and say goodbye to your baby belly!
Some of the key benefits of a postnatal belt are:
- It gives great support to your lower back.
- It provides muscle memory and strengthens your abdominal muscles.
- Reduces swelling and helps with the toning and slimming process.
🧘🏽♀️ 4 exercises we LOVE
After you have been cleared by your health advisor or your GP, you can get the go-ahead to start moving your body and exercising again.
We want to make sure that the exercises don't just help you get your postpartum body, but ensure that the exercises are safe to do.
Believe it or not getting a decent pair of post natal leggins can make all the difference. They can provide the right amount of compression whilst still being comfortable and easy to move in!
These are our top 4 exercises from each part of postpartum to help tone your tummy in a safe way!
Deep Breathing Exercises
A safe exercise to start with after you have had the all-clear is to engage your abdominal muscles.
These muscles will have separated during the 9 months during pregnancy and will take some work getting back.
Deep breathing will help to really engage your core and you can incorporate this into your daily life with yoga. It is a great exercise that will really help to pull all the muscles back together.
This exercise is recommended from 0-6 weeks postpartum.
Now that you have been engaging your core, you will start feeling stronger and your muscles coming back together.
A great exercise is hip bridges, as it not only strengthens your core but targets areas like your glutes and thighs.
This exercise is recommended from 6-12 weeks postpartum.
This is a great exercise and is slightly more advanced than the previous exercise. It's perfect for finding your balance and strengthening those core muscles even more.
You can either perform this exercise with or without weights, but it is suggested that holding weights can help provide a bit more balance if you are struggling with this.
This exercise is recommended between weeks 12-16 postpartum.
Plank exercises are very underrated, but have so many benefits as they engage the whole body!
At this stage of postpartum, you will hopefully be able to train as you were pre-pregnancy.
Start off easy and increase holding your plank longer each time. Don't beat yourself up if you can't hold it for as long as what you used to. You will only get better with consistent practice!
📝 Lifestyle tips to reduce your Baby Belly
🚰 Water Is Your Best Friend!
Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water can help flush out any unwanted fluids in your body. Facts show that you actually tend to bloat more if you don't drink enough water throughout the day.
🧴 Lather Up!
Apply lotion every day to your belly and areas you feel may have developed stretch marks. This will help to reduce any stretch marks you may get once the skin starts to recede.
🧎🏼♀️ Kegel Exercises
Exercise should become a lifestyle habit after pregnancy. It won't only help your body post-pregnancy but will also help your mind!
One exercise you should really focus on are your kegel exercises. This will help your muscles deep in your pelvic floor.
These exercises you can do anywhere, anytime throughout your day. It will also really help to bring all your core muscles together, which is what every woman wants after pregnancy.
👂🏼 Listen to your Body
The best thing you can do after pregnancy is to listen to your body. I mean really listen! Yes, you may see all these post-pregnancy bodies of other women when you scroll through social media, but that doesn't mean to say you are not doing a fantastic job adjusting to motherhood.
If you don't feel like exercising that day don't do it! If you want to eat a share bag of crisps to yourself, go for it! If all you want to do is spend time nurturing and caring for your baby, then so be it!
Life is about balance and making sure you are meeting your needs and not everyone else's!
❓ Your questions about postpartum - ANSWERED!
💪🏼 Do women get their pre pregnancy bodies back?
Although we would all love a personal trainer and a nutritionist at hand to get our pre-baby body back, sometimes that just isn't the case. That doesn't mean to say that you won't ever get it back, it just takes time and patience.
Hard work and persistence is key. Be kind to yourself and take the time to understand your body. Sometimes things may not go back to how they used to be, but that is completely okay.
💭 How will I feel post pregnancy?
When you set off from the hospital and step into your new life as a mum, you will experience some very intense emotions which are totally normal. As your hormones adjust themselves you may experience "the baby blues".
The baby blues typically last around 2 weeks at most. You may feel overwhelmed, moody, and cry a lot! All this is normal to feel as you adjust to your new life.
Here are some tips that may help:
- Don't expect so much from yourself, you have just given birth and you will be recovering from that for a few weeks.
- Let others know how you feel so they can understand the emotions you are feeling and can lend a helping hand or a listening ear.
- Getting out of the house, even for a short walk can clear your mind and will make you feel less trapped being inside all day.
- Allow yourself to ride the waves of emotions that come, don't try and fight them as they are a part of the journey.
If you are still experiencing very strong emotions a few weeks after birth, and you feel as though you are struggling. The best thing to do is to let your health advisor or GP.
🤰🏻Why do I still look pregnant after birth?
There is quite a simple answer for this, your body has been stretched to the max for the last 9 months while your uterus and abdominal muscles have been expanding to prepare you for birth. Of course, it's not just going to disappear straight away. It can take weeks (sometimes longer) for this baby belly to deflate.
After birth, you will immediately lose around 10-13 pounds. This includes the weight of your baby, the placenta and amniotic fluid. You will still have a bit of weight lingering around 24 hours after giving birth (which is mainly water weight) and typically goes after a week.
🤷🏽♀️When and where can I wear my postpartum belt?
The great thing about a postpartum belt is that you can start wearing it just hours after giving birth if it is advisable by your midwife. If you had a C-section, we suggest you should wait until the wound is healed.
You can wear your postpartum band any time day or night, as long as you feel comfortable in it. It shouldn't restrict any movements you do, and you should still be able to breathe comfortably.
You can wear your belt for as long as you feel like you need the support. It will also be a great thing to wear whilst exercising and help to rebuild and hold your abdominal muscles together.
All in all, your pregnancy journey may have finished, but your postpartum one has just begun. Big or small, take it a step at a time and remember to listen to your body. After all, you know your body the best!