With the whole journey that comes with pregnancy and the long-awaited birth of your little one now behind you, it’s time to face the transition from pregnancy to postpartum recovery.
Postpartum recovery generally refers to the first three to six weeks that new moms go through after giving birth. During this period, moms go through a lot of changes.
While your body works on recovering from the stress of pregnancy, you’re also going through the motions of adjusting to motherhood.
Caught in the midst of caring for yourself and your newborn, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and even fall into a depressed mood.
In fact, reports from New York Times reveal that 10 to 20 percent of moms with newborns suffer from serious postpartum depression.
Luckily, there are many things that can help mothers go through this postpartum period, with taking on a simple exercise regimen being one of them.
In an article on Parsley Health, Hollywood Pilates instructor Heather Dorak mentions the importance of starting “with something small,” saying that no matter what type of workout you do, you take those baby steps to get back on track.
This sentiment also resonated in a past post, ‘Mental Health Check ins to Make During and After Pregnancy’, which mentions that slowly getting back into exercise through activities that allow you to rediscover how your body likes to move can be an effective tool in taking care of your physical and mental health after pregnancy.
Benefits of Pilates
Childbirth is a major procedure that will have a huge impact on your physique and requires the body to go beyond its limits. As such, it’s important for recovering moms to subscribe to activities that promote muscle strength without being too straining. This makes Pilates a good option, as explained by FFC, Pilates strengthens the inner and outer hips, which can help support the pelvis, which will have been stretched during pregnancy and then relaxed upon childbirth.
Moreover, certain Pilates movements are known to relieve lower back pain and pelvic floor discomfort by strengthening the abdominals, hips, and back. Harper’s Bazaar suggests that because Pilates is a highly immersive exercise that requires focus and concentration, it brings emotional and mental benefits by being a great ‘time-out’ from everyday stressors.
To experience all the amazing benefits Pilates can bring during your postpartum recovery, try the following movements:
This movement which concerns the abs, butt, and thighs, can be easily done by kneeling down on a mat with your knees hip-distance apart and your shoulders pulled back. While in this position, pull your abs in while simultaneously squeezing your butt then raise your arms in front of you to shoulder height. Then, lean back a little. Try to hold this position for 30 seconds and do it three times.
Like any other plank, this movement works on your core, abs, butt, legs, arms, back, and, with a little modification, your pelvic floor as well. To do this, get down on all fours and lower yourself down to your elbows. Then, as you align your head to your spine, tilt your pelvis under slightly to protect your lower back while squeezing your thighs up together to form a V shape. Hold this position for 30 seconds and do three sets.
This movement allows you to work on your butt, thighs, and calves. You can do this by standing in front of a counter-top and then, bending over and resting your forearms on the counter with your forehead lowered onto it. Then, walk your feet back until they are underneath your hips and stand with your heels together and your toes slightly apart. Tuck your pelvis under while squeezing your butt then lift your left leg behind you with your knees bent at 45 degrees. Do 3 sets of 16 repetitions for each leg.