I’ve just had a baby and I want to get my body back

We know, we get it. You’ve just spent the last 9 months, for the most part, feeling like you’ve been in an episode of invasion of the body snatchers. You’re just itching to start feeling like you again, to get a bit of time for yourself, as well as being on 24 hr call for your little one.

It’s great to feel like this, as it’s excellent motivation, but it’s equally important not to rush things. Make sure you give yourself a break first of all and try not to achieve too much too soon. During pregnancy, your muscles, tendons and ligaments stretch. Also your centre of gravity and balance may be different, due to having carried a large weight for the last few months. How you gave birth as well, can affect your recovery time. Women who have had a caesarian section should not engage in strategic exercise until after 8 weeks and the all-clear from your doctor. Episiotomies from natural childbirth can slow recovery and abdominal separation (diastasis recti) occurs in about one third of women, where the ab muscles separate and expand to provide space for the baby.

Whatever delivery you have had, it’s very likely that your core will be a lot weaker than pre-pregnancy, and because your core has such a huge part to play in most exercises and sports, you are likely to feel challenged to begin with, regardless of your pre-pregnancy fitness level. Throw in a caesarian and ab separation (or both) and you are doubly or triply challenged. 

The key is to work with a fitness professional who understands these conditions and how to ensure strength and stability are slowly regained, to ensure you have the strength and fitness to cope with your growing bundle. And most importantly feel like the woman you used to.