Today is the day friends!
I have received so many questions over the last few months from fellow mommies about what workout they can do for their abdominals after baby and because of that I thought it only made sense to put together a little mini-series that really focuses on CORRECT abdominal excercises to help tighten and tone that belly while protecting your core muscles from permanent damage.
I don’t think ab separation is talked about enough along with the fact that just because you are cleared for physical activity (usually around the 6 week postpartum mark), it can take MONTHS for your abs to actually come back together. For instance, I was cleared for fitness at 6 weeks pp, but I still had very slight diastisis recti until about 4 months pp. What is diastisis recti? Click here for a brief overview.
Diastisis recti can happen in anyone. Men and babies can have it, but it is true that it is very common in females because we have babies. Our abs have to separate to accommodate our growing baby and everything surrounding them. If dealt with properly, ab separation will not be a long term issue. It’s pretty awesome how the body can stretch and distort that much and then come back together. However, the wrong kind of workouts too fast can lead to permanent damage. Those muscles could rip and not only will you carry what looks like a 4 month pooch permanately but the only way to fix it at that point would be surgically. Sometimes, the muscles rip just from multiple pregnancies and pregnancies close together. However, getting ahead of the game and making sure to have a strong core and strong body before pregnancy, during, and–properly–after can lower your risk for permanent damage.
Over the next couple weeks, I will be posting abdominal/core excercises that anyone can do. Pregnant, not pregnant, or postpartum. Why do I say abs AND core? Well, having a toned stomach isn’t solely based on abdominal work. Our core is all the musceles surrounding our spinal column. That includes the back muscles. Proper posture that comes from a strong back actually aids in keeping our stomach tight and toned. Spinal health is just as important as that six pack ladies. You don’t just lift weights on only the left arm and not the right, RIGHT? Same with the abs. We work the front AND the back. Basically, with all the questions about what to do post pregnant know that any workout I feature over the next few weeks is #PPaproved. When you see that hashtag you know it’s okay for postpartum mommas. I will specify or talk about a modification if it is not.
NOTE* If ANYTHING hurts or does not feel good-modify! IF modifying and it still hurts-wait and don’t do it! You will get there eventually–I PROMISE!
Many people rush the process after baby. This is not healthy. We should be of the mindset of being healthy, not skinny. If your perspective is focused on health, then you will wait and go slow and be patient with the process. Period. Risking long term and permanent damage is NOT worth trying to get back into those skinny jeans. Even if you are super fit before and during pregnancy, it still took 10 months for your body to change and a accommodate a life. This means you need to give it the same, if not more patience and time, to heal completely. You owe it to yourself and your future. You only have one body and the choice is yours whether it will sustain you and keep you healthy for life or whether it will quit on you before it should. After almost 5.5 months post partum I was finally able to do my first crow pose in yoga. It was worth the wait because I knew my body was healed and ready. It was a super exciting moment for me! God made our bodies to be able to handle pregnancy and birth and he made it able to come all back together. Your body will never be the “same” after baby, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be fit or that it can’t be better. I am and feel in better shape post baby than ever before. Changes after baby aren’t always drastic, but your body still changed nonetheless. I am in love with the changes my body took on. For me, my hips got a little curvier. My pant size didn’t change, but I just feel more feminine in them! 🙂
Let’s change our perspectives, let’s be patient, let’s love ourselves in every moment of our journey. The human body is amazing–let’s treat it as such.
*Don’t forget that abs are made in the kitchen, too. Workouts and nutrition go hand in hand and actually, nutrition is about 70-80%. The right foods work with your body to help build and maintain lean muscle. *
Follow my Instagram—-> @stayatfitmom. This is where you will find all my posts on Abs after Baby and so much more.
Have a great day beautiful and remember:
Stay fit. Stay Healthy. Inside-Out.