POSTPARTUM EXERCISE: WHERE TO START?
After having a baby, many mamas want to get their pre-baby bodies back sooner rather than later. At The Bloom Method, we totally understand that. But we also understand that healing and recovery is a process. It takes time.
One question we encounter time after time is, "What should be the first exercise women do postpartum?" And the answer is surprisingly simple:
That's it. It's that easy.
Okay fine — not really, but the point is that many people expect that the answer about the first exercise to do postpartum will be something fitness or exercise related. It's not. Breathing is the first and best postpartum exercise that all women can and should do. Breathing is the foundation for healing your inner core. With breath, you begin to start the healing process after birth by simultaneously rehabbing both the deep core and the pelvic floor.
Whether you are trying to heal diastasis or just want to heal your core in a smart way, the process starts with breath. Whether you had a vaginal birth or a cesarean section, the process starts with breath. And the best part is that this is an exercise that can be done immediately — even right after birth.
More importantly, it's focusing on how you breathe. You want to use diaphragmatic breath. Not sure exactly what we mean by that? Check out this blog post about breathing patterns during pregnancy. The description here of diaphragmatic breathing during pregnancy still applies postpartum.
Diaphragmatic breathing can be part of your daily life. Repattern your breath to be more consistent in your diaphragm. Focus on your breath and the way your inner core works. Is everything working as a unit? Are you regulating your intraabdominal pressure? Does the pelvic floor move with the transverse abdominal muscles and the diaphragm during that breath?
Everything is involved in diaphragmatic breathing. This is why it is the first, and perhaps most important, exercise a mother can do after having a baby. Once you have the breathing down, and when you are fully healed postpartum, you can begin to progress your rehab through smart core based movements that continue to re-build the inner core unit and pelvic floor. Starting the healing process by focusing on breathing can help you rehabilitate your body and can help you prevent injury down the road.
So, just breathe, mamas!
Want to learn a few techniques to strengthen your body gently just days after baby is born? Join Studio Bloom and jump into our Fourth Trimester REHAB series.