Having a baby is a phenomenal physical feat taking your body through a major transformation in just nine months! Your abs have stretched over 50% and, if you had a vaginal birth, your pelvic floor has also sustained a major stretch. It is now time to slowly rebuild those muscles that are integral to core support.
In reality, it takes about twelve weeks or longer if you were not active during your pregnancy, for your abdominal system to “regroup”. It takes about six months to a year for most women to “get there body back”. Doing more and pushing harder will not make it come more quickly. In fact, doing so may cause injuries leading to an even longer recovery time. Now is the time to concentrate on corrective exercises that activate the muscles that have overstretched during pregnancy, and to work on restoring alignment. All of which aid in the demanding job of taking care of your newborn.
As noted above, this amazing hormone created laxity in your body during pregnancy to make room for your baby to grow. Even though your body no longer produces Relaxin now that the baby is born, its effects remain present for months postpartum, and even longer if you are breastfeeding. The effects this hormone has on the body, and especially your recovering abdominals, should not be taken lightly, and it is one of the main reasons why we HIGHLY recommend taking postnatal Pilates classes for six months, or even longer, postpartum.
Similar to our prenatal classes, in our postnatal classes we stay away from contracting the rectus abs, instead recruiting the tranversus abdominis. We continue to focus on this deepest layer of abdominals to draw the rectus back together. We also use specific exercises to encourage the shortening of all the layers of the overstretched abs. This rebuilds a strong abdominal foundation, which is key in the recovery the body needs after giving birth.