It's already been a month since your baby doll arrived. You feel fine and you have had no pain since giving birth. You plan to start training again now.
And since you don't like light workouts, you decide to go for it right away with a Crossfit type workout. Warning, bad idea!
Let us explain why you need to start gradually and guide you in a safe return to impact sports.
Were you active during your pregnancy? Whether it is yes or no, it is imperative that the return to sports be gradual postpartum. On the other hand, if you were active during your pregnancy, it will be easier to return to sports because your last workout will be more recent. A gradual return to sports reduces the risk of suffering from urinary incontinence or perineal heaviness on exertion and limits potential musculoskeletal injuries. Do not hesitate to meet a physiotherapist specialized in perineal and pelvic rehabilitation to be guided in your return to sports.
The type of childbirth
Whether you gave birth vaginally or by caesarean section, it isgradually return to sports. The weakening of the pelvic floor sets in throughout pregnancy, among other things as a consequence of weight gain, postural and hormonal changes, and not only during pushing during vaginal delivery. Note also that the presence of a major perineal tear can increase the weakening.
For cesarean delivery, the perineum is more preserved if there has been no vaginal thrust. However, the surgery leaves an incision in the abdominal wall, which changes the effectiveness of the abdominal muscles. Thus, the perineum and abdomen must be allowed to recover through targeted exercises of the pelvic floor muscles and the transverse abdominis (the deepest muscle of the abdominals).
After childbirth, as soon as there is no pain in the perineal region, these exercises can be started.
How about returning to impact sports sooner? If no strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles is done in the postpartum period and natural recovery is cut short by a too early return to impact sports, these muscles are likely to remain weak or to weaken further.
Imagine repeatedly jumping on your weakened perineum… You would be at risk of suffering from urinary incontinence or developing genital prolapse.
As for abs, poor belt recoveryabdominal pain could put you at risk for developing, or worsening, diastasis rectus abdominis.
The first month is generally a period of partial rest. It is essential to listen to your tolerance, your fatigue and your general physical condition. The return to training is always individualized and depends, among other things, on your delivery (have there been any complications, for example?). It is generally advised to resume non-impact training, such as walking, before resuming impact training. If walking and daily activities are symptom-free, it is possible to consider a gradual return to impact sports thereafter. It is therefore not possible to say that the return is made from a specific moment, because this moment will be different from one woman to another. The return to impact sports must therefore be done gradually and must be without symptoms of urinary incontinence, perineal heaviness or pain during training, but also after training. Do not hesitate to consult a physiotherapist in perineal rehabilitation if you want to quickly (but safely) return to impact training or higher intensity.
Give yourself time
You gave birth. Pregnancy lasts nine months, why not give yourself time to postpartum recovery?
Remember the importance of allowing adequate healing time for affected tissues. The greater part of thetissue healing occurs during the first three months. So, if during this critical period, the body is subjected to too much impact, there could be persistence or development of the symptoms mentioned above. It is therefore necessary to understand that what you do now can have an impact on your future. Don't worry, your form will come back, we promise!