Thursday, 8 September 2016

Post natal movement and nourishment.....

In this Blog, I'm going to delve into some of the affects that pregnancy has on the body and what is suitable in terms of nutrition and movement, to heal the body post baby.

If you are reading this and have recently given birth then it's a massive high five from me and a huge amount of respect to you. I hope you and your "bundle" of joy are well and enjoying the world, others reading this blog may be Post Natal (in many cases it's been years since the baby arrived). This is still appropriate so keep reading as you may well feel that you have never fully recovered.

It's important for me to acknowledge that, I am Male. In truth, I will never say "I understand" when it comes to matters of pregnancy and birthing. I have, though seen members of my own family and certainly clients who have been through this "Life changing, life giving experience" and suffered various ailments as a result. 

I often hear Mum's in my class, voicing issues, like this.......

"I was picking "baby" up from the Mose's basket the other day and felt my back go!"
Yes, Mum's do this, they move lots: Lifting, twisting,  pushing, pulling. So it's important to incorporate this into exercise sessions by recreating your daily movement patterns, building strength in the muscles used and minimising the risk of injury.

"I went to see my GP for the six week check and it was over in 3 minutes"
Often the case in many parts of the world these "check ups" are being discontinued. In this country they seem to be inconsistent at best. This is a major oversight, many Mum's I have spoken with say the questions are geared towards the babies health, but what about Mum's? There are some 20 conditions which need to be discussed before a suitable programme of exercise is devised, so why aren't the G.P's doing this? These include: Joint pain, prolapse, scar healing, diastasis and gestational diabetes to name just a few.

"I gained weight as a result of pregnancy and now I'm on a diet" 
As a Mum I'm sure you'd agree, that pregnancy, birthing and child care take a massive toll, on you. Both your physical and mental health are challenged: Your hormones are all over the place, you may be lacking sleep, and the key focus is the well being of the new baby and the rest of your family. The last thing you need is the additional stress of dieting. The focus should be around what you CAN have not what you CAN'T, nourishing your body to aid repair needs to be the focus. General guidelines include:
-Colour: Fruits and vegetables (natures jewels!): Vitamins minerals and fibre
-Proteins: To promote healing and building, increasing levels of collagen
-Whole grains: Fore energy, satiety, and more consistent blood sugar levels
-Healthy Fats: Essential fats, polyunsaturated and mono unsaturated fats  

"I have no core/ no abdominal strength, I have tried the abdominal crunch challenge to improve it, but nothing happened!"
This is likely to be a Diastasis Recti (separation of the abdominal wall). As you are carrying a growing baby, the abdominal muscles separation. Causing weakness in your core. The core is made up of  the Transverse Abdominus, Rectus Abdominus, Internal and external obliques and that's without including back muscles which are critical. 
A significant separation here means that the very foundation of your body is compromised. 
The solution, is not spinal flexion (loading the abs, will cause further separation). The best thing to do here is target the midsection, in a standing position with a focus on 360 degree breathing to heal. 

"According to WebMD two thirds o
new Mum's have a diastasis."

"I have pain in my lower back, butt, neck, hands, etc"
Many of the pains suffered by Mum's are as a result of:
-The increasing mass of the baby, and breasts means more weight held at the front of the body. This undoubtedly causes pain (often lower back, gluteal pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and/or pudendal nerve pain).
-Structural, hormonal and postural changes, as the body prepares for birthing.

"Will my body ever feel the same again after children?"
The truth is maybe not, but there's always hope. Giving birth to your bundle of joy is a miracle, nothing can distract from that. However, the process is very traumatic for your body. If your body feels different, even 10 years after child birth then you are still post natal. 

It should be acknowledged that the body has an incredible set of coping mechanisms, the body is truly wonderful and must be nourished and nurtured to support your daily activities. 

Here at Three Pillars of Fitness, we specialise in Functional fitness for Pre and Post natal women, as we know conceiving, carrying, birthing and caring for your child, and your family is a job for life. We like to offer Mum's a service which is focused on healing, repair and strengthening your body as well as offering some much needed "you time!"

FREE TASTER: If you would like to attend a free class on Friday 16th September at 09.15am (in Woodingdean, Brighton, UK). We'd love to hear from you. The class is designed specifically for Mum's, regardless of whether your child is 1 or 31 CLICK HERE TO CONTACT ME for more information.