“I’ve just had a baby, an operation too! Will I ever be able to revert to my previous body structure? Can I exercise after a caesarian?” The woes of a new mother, though gone are the times when a new mother would be disbarred from all other activity other than feeding the baby and allowing the body to recover. 40 days, she would be told to remain indoors, as the immunity would be at its weakest and both mother and child would be cocooned till they were ready to face the world. Let me tell you, I’ve been there and done that for my first born and believe me it did actually help. I was barely 20 and I had absolutely no clue what I was supposed to do or eat or exercise and nor anyone to guide me. I blindly followed my mother-in-law. Yes, I did put on weight and the loose fat on my tummy took a lot of hard work to go, but my weak bones, low blood pressure problems and the constant faints were gone forever.
However back then the idea of a perfect figure wasn’t a benchmark of 36-24-36 that had to be achieved. The perception of beauty was more realistic than the willowy photo-shopped frames we see in every Instagram, snapchat, twitter or FB post. But that apart, personal health and beauty standards weren’t even defined for individuals to fit any proto type. It was what each thought best for themselves. However the world has changed and women today are equipped for more, or maybe they want it all and can work hard enough to get it too. So let’s get down to basic facts that can help a new mother.
Though the scientific technology speeded the healing and recovery time post an operation, it still doesn’t allow you to be lax or careless. The C-section delivery definitely requires some healing time before you can start putting pressure of a rigorous workout on it. What you can safely begin with is walking. After a 2 week absolute rest, allowing the scar to heal, the internal changes to restore strength to the body and pain to subside, a 20min easy paced walk is what you can start with after a fortnight. As doctors always advice, take 6/8 weeks of total recovery before you begin any full-fledged workout. Urinary incontinence can happen post-delivery due to loosening of the pelvic muscles. The Kegel exercises taught to you during pregnancy are the best to begin with. They will help in strengthening the core and your pelvis. These help in combatting that loosening that you are worried about.
These are the exercises you can gradually you can start with
1. Hip raises to strengthen your abdominals without pressurizing your back.
2. The Bird Dog will help tighten the sagging tummy that is a problem with most new mothers. These exercises will also help elongate the spine and ease out the stiffness.
3. Side leg raises done lying down will activate the hamstrings and glutes while increasing mobility in the hip flexors. They also help tighten the core.
4. The plank….you can begin with the regular one and then gradually do the various variations.The body has undergone lots of changes to prepare you for the birth of your young one, do not rush it or torture it into getting back into its previous shape sooner than it’s prepared for. Take it slow and easy, build up your strength, endurance and then drive it to do better. There are loads of workouts that can be your playtime with your child, while helping you to lose weight and recover while you enjoy motherhood.
Read The Times of India article – click here