How to Rebuild Your Strength After a Baby
By Anastasia Smith
Whether you had your last baby six months ago or six years ago, you know well the profound changes that pregnancy brings to our bodies.
By the time you hold your sweet little one in your arms—regardless of how you gave birth—your body has already been through so much. And as if that wasn’t enough, somehow the journey of motherhood is only just beginning.
Nine months of carrying a growing baby stretches our abdominal and pelvic floor muscles beyond what they’ve ever experienced. Pregnancy hormones destabilize our pelvic cartilage and ligaments, making us bendy in some areas and woefully tight in others. Cesarean births introduce multiple layers of scar tissue to our lower abdomens while (quite literally) severing neurological pathways from our brains to our cores. And vaginal births can traumatize pelvic floor muscles on both superficial and deep levels.
So, whether you’ve had one or more babies, and you might find yourself wondering:
“Will my tummy ever lose its pooch?”
“Why hasn’t my pelvic pain or abdominal separation healed since pregnancy?”
“Will I ever be able run (or dance, or jump, or…) without peeing a little bit?”
And, perhaps most importantly: “Will I be able to actually take care of myself while also taking care of my family?
Don’t despair! The answer to all these questions is a resounding yes.
Set aside some time after you’ve had a baby to focus on rebuilding the foundation of your core. Once your foundation is set, you’ll be able to build more intense workouts with less pain (and less pee—yes it’s true). It’s all about going back to basics and retraining your core and breath.
What you don’t know can hurt you when it comes to postpartum exercise. Training hard without restoring your core first can actually make a host of issues worse. But the good news is: it’s never too late. You can return to basics at any point after giving birth. (Seriously, even if it’s been 30 years.)
Barre Base is now offering a service for postpartum women to restore their cores and move with more strength, ease and confidence in their everyday lives. Sessions are led by yoga instructor and birth doula Anastasia Smith. They include a focus on retraining the brain-core connection, breathing effectively for core mobilization, and building serious strength to hold you up. We’ll use many exercises that you’ll already recognize from Barre Base classes but with a more directed emphasis on women’s health.
Taking care of yourself as a new (or very experienced) mum is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your family!