Stretch marks, sensitive breasts, and prominent veins are just some of the wonderful surprises nature hands you in addition to your new tot after giving birth.
Undergoing nine months of extreme body changes to grow another human being, can take its toll on your body, not to mention the ability to recover the bodily strength and stamina you’d had before pregnancy.
Aside from the physical changes, new moms often experience incontinence, lower back pain, lengthening and separation of the abdominal muscles, and a more-than-usual lack of energy.
New moms experiencing urinary incontinence would be relieved to know that this embarrassing condition can be treated with consistent EMS training sessions, which would not only strengthen muscles but enhance body physique, improve your mood, increase vitality, body stability and stamina.
“For most women after pregnancy, a high focus should be placed on strengthening the abdominals, pelvic floor and overall core muscles – with a high emphasis on correct form and posture in all exercises,” says the Head of the BODYTEC Training Academy Michael Burbidge. “BODYTEC is a perfectly-suited training solution to achieve this, as every single exercise activates these muscle groups and in comparison to most conventional training methods, also activates deeper muscle tissues in the core area, which are generally more difficult to activate.”
And regarding sensitive breasts? “Avoid impact movements, such as jumping, running, rapid changes of body position or movements that involve the chest muscles,” recommends Michael. Think controlled and slow movements and exercises in the first few weeks after giving birth.
Another aspect often overlooked, as it’s not directly linked to the changes of the body during or after pregnancy, is your lack of energy. Many new moms face an increased energy demand due to milk production, a lack of sleep and the emotional demands of being a parent. That means, recovery periods after training sessions should be a bit longer, and the training duration should be shorter and more focused in order to avoid losing training motivation, Michael suggests.
He recommends waiting at least 6 weeks before starting formal exercise if you’ve had a natural birth and 8 – 12 weeks for surgical births.
In the interim, what can do at home to get you moving in those first few weeks?
Michael recommends the following home exercises if you’ve had a natural birth:
1. Reverse bridge
Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees, feet about shoulder-width apart and arms crossed over your chest. Press your lower back into the ground to tilt your hips. Press the soles of your feet into the floor and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips up off the ground.
Reps: Hold position for 30 – 60 seconds
2. Leg cycling
Lie flat on your back and place your fingers on your ears. Contract your abdominals to push your lower back flat against the ground and lift your feet slightly off the ground. While keeping your lower back pressed down bend one knee to lift it towards your chin, cycle back and forth, extending one leg and flexing the other.
Reps: 7-10 for each leg (14-20 total)
3. Knee Squeeze
Take a pillow or a soft ball (two tennis balls work well too) and in the same position as a typical crunch, place the pillow or ball(s) between your knees. Slowly squeeze your knees together and release. Be sure to widen your knees to the space of at least two fists to avoid putting too much strain on your pelvic area.
You may also be interested in RESEARCH: Treating urinary incontinence with EMS Strength Training.