Fueling the fire; you’ve got to be in it to win it!

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So, I’m 5 ½ months postnatal! Where did that time go? I can’t believe Mattie is nearly 6 months- we’ve started weaning which makes me realise that I DEFINITELY don’t have a newborn any more! He’s turning into such a gorgeous and cheeky little chappie. Lauren and Mattie are still best of friends! They really do play off each other, making the other laugh- it’s wonderful to watch. I feel so lucky! Despite no longer having a newborn, I’m still a way off being ‘recovered’ from pregnancy/birth.

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It’s been a while since I’ve made time to sit down and catch up on my blog to let you know where I am in my road to recovery. We’ve fallen into a nice routine. School drop off, back home for playtime, and feeding, then it’s knuckle down to my rehab exercises for me while Mattie sleeps- I just about have time before he wakes. At the moment rehab is both hypopressives (I’m currently 21 days into a 30 day hypopressives challenge) and my physio-led exercises. It’s then lunch, feed for Mattie, and school pick up. That’s it. My day.

 

For me right now, I have two priorities:

  • looking after my children
  • recovering my body from pregnancy/birth. Still.

And that’s fine.

 

I promised myself during this last pregnancy that I would attack my recovery with everything I have. And I kind of am (we can always do more!).

 

After all, you have to be in it to win it.

 

I often give my clients rehab exercises to do between sessions. Many don’t adhere to them, but a handful do. And it’s the ones who do that I really see the results with. There is a reason I give the exercises, and that is to promote recovery from whatever injury or niggle the person may have. But many people want to come to a session, and leave it all behind them when they leave, but still expect to see quick results.

 

I’ve been diligent with my own rehab…and I’m seeing results.

 

Following this pregnancy, I had a huge diastasis and I began working on it immediately with some very gentle exercises focused around breathing. When I first saw my physio at 8 weeks postnatal, this had improved, but the separation was still significant (4 fingers wide, very soft and spanning from my ribs down to near my pubic bone). My prolapse was stage 2.

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   8 weeks postnatal

 

This week, at 24 weeks postnatal, I saw my physio and my tummy separation has significantly reduced- close to my ribs I’m down to 1 finger wide with a degree of firmness, around my navel I’m down to about 2 fingers wide with moderate softness, and the lower area is closed and firm. My prolapse is now stage 1!

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24 weeks postnatal

 

I believe if you really want to see results, be it recovering from a sporting injury or birth/pregnancy, you need to make sure you give your rehab key ingredients:

  • Time
  • Good advice (correct exercises/soft tissue work/nutrition)
  • Commitment

Just like a fire needing fuel, oxygen and heat to burn strong (we’ve all seen the fire triangle). Take any one of these things away, and the fire will struggle.

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I’ve still a way to go. I don’t yet have complete control over my core- I still get doming on certain basic movements and with some small added resistance to basic exercises. At rest I still have a huge separation (more than 4 fingers) leading to a poochy tummy in standing. And I still feel very vulnerable ‘down below’; even at almost 6 months postnatal, I’m still no where near being ready for impact (such as running and jumping). And I’m OK with that. My body has done an amazing thing for me- growing and feeding two beautiful children, and I need to give it the respect and thanks it deserves to allow it to recover. So on I go with my rehab.

 

Anna Curtis is a fully qualified and insured Sports and Clinical Massage Therapist, and Personal Trainer, specialising in Pregnancy and Postnatal. She is owner of BodyResults and co-owner of TeamMama

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