It’s been nearly 6-months since my beautiful baby boy, Samuel was born. He is a calm and happy baby, and such a joy to have in my life. Mama, daddy, and big brother all love him dearly.
Sammy is my second and last baby, so I wanted to ensure my postnatal recovery was done properly to avoid any unforeseen issues down the line. When Sammy turned 4-months, I decided to start getting my body back, and have been working with three amazing resources to make this happen. I still have a ways to go (and about 15 more pounds to lose!), but I am well on my way. I wanted to write about what I’ve been doing as the following people have been so supportive for me – my postnatal recovery dream team!
First, Kim Vopni, the Fitness Doula. I saw Kim speak at a Modern Mama Bump Brunch and really took to heart her words about how doing bootcamps and crunches are NOT recommended immediately after having a baby…even though that’s exactly what most new moms jump into.
In a perfect world, you would meet with Kim while you are pregnant. She can provide some tips and exercises to do while pregnant and advise on the best positions for labour. I, however, put off my meeting with Kim so late, that I went into labour the morning we were supposed to meet! So, fast forward 12 weeks and I contacted Kim again. I’ve now met with Kim about 4 times and we have a final session coming up next week. In each session, Kim assesses my core strength, takes a look at my separation, and gives me exercises to restore my core back to pre-baby health (or some semblance of it!). Over my 4 visits, my separation has improved from 3-4 fingers, to 1 finger, so I am almost there!
Some tips: First, after delivering baby, when you need to get up/down roll onto your side first. This puts less pressure on your abdominals, and doesn’t stress them. They have just gone through some serious change! You need to slowly bring them back to strength. Also, NO crunches. Crunches just exacerbate your separation, which you don’t want. I’ve learned a lot about the core and pelvic floor functionality from Kim – thank you!
My next amazing resource is Cheryl Leia, Physiotherapist at Canopy Integrated Health in North Vancouver. I do NOT go to North Vancouver. I don’t like the drive, the traffic, and I get lost every time I go there. So, the fact I have driven to North Vancouver to see Cheryl 6 times is saying something.
I first went to see Cheryl as she is one of a few physiotherapists who do internal pelvic floor exams, which is ideal post-baby to make sure everything inside is in working order. Cheryl is the mom of three boys, super knowledgeable, and a warm & lovely person! She puts you at ease during exams and has ended up restoring me head to toe. What started with my pelvic floor, migrated to working on my hip issues (related to my pelvic floor), jaw pain, and lots more. I always look forward to my visits with Cheryl as they are fun, informative, and my body if functioning so much better now. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you to see Cheryl.
Finally, to get my body moving, I turned back to The Dailey Method, which offers barre-class workouts, a mix of core conditioning, muscle strengthening, yoga, and orthopedic exercises. They also recently launched Dailey Interval classes, which are low-impact but designed to get you moving and your heart-rate up. I did the Dailey Method during my entire pregnancy and I felt strong and had no back or muscle aches at all (thank you Jey & Stephanie, who I took most of my classes with!).
For my post-natal recovery, I signed-up for their 3-month new mom package and have been doing classes 4-5 times a week. As usual, the classes are challenging, but I feel fantastic afterwards. All the instructors at The Dailey Method are excellent and super supportive. I have been doing the classes with a lot of modifications from Kim and Cheryl, and the Dailey Method has been very encouraging about letting me go at my own, much slower, pace. There is never any judgement, just support! They also offer childcare for their 9:40 & 11:00am classes, so your baby will be close by.
Now, all I have to do is keep going, reign in my sweet tooth and I will be good to go! If you are a new mama I hope you find a great postnatal recovery system. Self-care is very important, but often overlooked when you are a new mama. Do what you can to get yourself feeling great, inside and out.
Note: I was NOT compensated for this post and am writing it soley because I love all these resources! I am a paying customer for all these services.