Your postpartum body looks and feels very different to how it did before you had your baby.
But what is “normal”? And what should you speak your GP or health visitor about?
Questions you may be asking yourself:
“Is my stomach supposed to look like this?”
“Should I feel like this when I wee?”
“Will this always feel like this?”
As you are probably aware, childbirth does not always go to plan!
Whether this was your first baby or your fifth, you will know that no birth is the same and you need to give your post-baby body time to heal.
Luckily, mother nature is pretty awesome and if you give your newly post-baby body plenty of time, rest and love, you will soon start to feel strong again.
But, this is not always the case. Many women in the UK are living with issues that they really shouldn’t have to, issues that can be helped.
Incontinence and postnatal body issues are costing the NHS up to £233 million per year.t
0-8 Weeks Postpartum
Let’s talk about some totally normal symptoms and feelings that you are likely to experience 0-8 weeks after you have had your baby.
- When you go to the bathroom you may feel like our insides are going to fall out (unfortunately normal doesn’t always mean nice)
- You might not be able to fully control your urine, stools, or gas. You might accidentally leak or pass wind
- You may struggle to get comfortable and shift about when sitting or standing
- You are sore! All over! Perhaps your public area, your hips, your neck, maybe your C section scar.
What can you do to heal when 0-8 weeks postpartum
Stretch and release your tight muscles. Try squatting while holding on to a heavy table leg or bannister for support. Clasp your hands behind your back and then lift them towards the ceiling and very gently raise your nose to the sky.
Next try lying on your back with your legs in the air, shuffle your bottom right into the wall, then let your legs drop to the side.
These simple stretches should help improve your circulation and release the tension from your muscles.
Try to find your pelvic floor and stomach muscles. We don’t want to exercise them yet, we just want to find them again.
Inhale and let your stomach muscles and pelvic floor relax. Let it all go.
Next, exhale and lift your pelvic floor. To make this easier, imagine you are picking up a grape with your vagina or sucking up a smoothie through a straw. Then breathe in and relax those muscles being careful not to forcefully push down. That’s it! Repeat this a few times to get the hang of it.
Use all the cushions! Make sure you are comfortable and supported when you feed and cuddle your baby.
Rest. If you go for a daily walk, do. But take it easy, then rest some more when you get home.
8+ weeks postpartum
Now you can gradually start to become more active – but remember nothing should be hurting.
You should have stopped bleeding by now, and you should have stopped hurting.
If not, you should go and speak to your GP.
You should have control over your bladder and bowel – some weakness and urgency are normal.
What is not normal postpartum?
A number of symptoms are commonly referred to as normal when in fact they are common but totally treatable. The right corrective exercises can make a massive difference.
❌ Pain in your back, pelvis, hips, or legs
❌ Leaking urine (or worse) when you sneeze, laugh, or cough
❌ Bulging or doming of your tummy when you do exercise
❌ Feeling like you are bearing down, like you can’t keep a tampon in, or like something is falling out between your legs
If you have any of these postpartum symptoms, if you are in pain, or you are worried about the way you are feeling, please go to see your doctor or midwife straight away.
They may refer you to a women’s health physio who will be able to help you understand what you are dealing with and how to adapt exercises.
Then you can start to find and strengthen your core muscles.
Ready to get started?
MUTU System is the medically recommended online exercise program that helps mums gain confidence in how their body looks, works, and feels.
94% of women who used MUTU System felt an improvement in how they felt about their body and what it is able to do**
**906 MUTU customers surveyed in October 2018