Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Post-natal fitness: the first few weeks

As I've already blogged about, I was able to keep fairly active throughout my pregnancy and as a result thought I would be able to resume exercising pretty quickly afterwards. I was worried that if I wasn't up to running or being active then that would hit my emotional wellbeing pretty hard. As it turns out, I didn't do more than little walks for about a month after giving birth but I was so all consumed with being a new mum that actually I wasn't bothered.
Labour took a bigger toll on my body than I expected. Without going into too many details, it was a massive physical effort and afterwards it took me about 36 hours to feel that I'd eaten & drunk enough to get my energy back - I spent several hours shaking due to feeling so weak. I got very little sleep in the days either side of the birth and missed an entire night of sleep the night she was actually born so it was difficult to begin recovering. I also ached all over for several days & had to cope with the more delicate aspects of post-birth. In short, going for a run was not on my list of priorities! 

By the time she was 5 weeks old I had started wearing her in a sling which gave me a lot more freedom. I went for a walk along the river - my old 5K running loop. 
She slept through the whole thing! 

A few weeks later I returned to parkrun, initially walking with her and then progressing to running. However, it hasn't all been straightforward - pelvic floor issues have set me back and I've decided to start walk/running again as well as focusing on core strength. On that note, the impact on pregnancy and birth to a woman's pelvic floor is huge and it is a pity that it is not spoken about more. I don't think it's anything to be ashamed about - it is entirely natural, understandable and normal, but because incontinence issues are often hidden or worse joked about, it becomes embarrassing. I'm going to be blogging more about my (hopeful) return to fitness so if any pregnant women or mums are reading then do share your experiences.

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