The entire journey of motherhood is a miracle; from conception to delivery. Honor the journey by making sure to care for your body after giving birth so that you recover safely.
During the first week, if you can sit, sit and if you can lie down, lie down. You are recovering from a major event. Use all the help you can get from people and from tools designed to support you during this time. You will naturally be up and moving around quite a bit, so rest when you get the chance!
Connection breathing refers to using the breath to help activate and release the abdominals and the muscles of the pelvic floor. When we inhale, the diaphragm draws down to pull air into the lungs. This causes the ribs to expand, the belly to rise and the pelvic floor to lower and spread towards the feet. Then on the exhale the abdominals engage and help pull the ribs towards the midline and the pelvic floor lifts upwards. Don’t force any movement or actively try to contract muscles. Just focus on the breathing and observe or notice the connection to these other movements.
DEEP ABDOMINAL TRAINING
The deep abdominal muscles wrap from the midline of the stomach around and attach into the spine like a corset. There are many ways to practice activating these muscles. To start, place your hand on your stomach, make a rapid “shhh” or “chhh” sound or say the word “hut” and see if you can feel muscles engaging.
Graded strengthening is a gradual progression of exercises to help ease you back to your normal activity. This might mean using assistance to complete a movement early on and then gradually decreasing that assistance and eventually adding weight to build strength. Don’t jump right back into your normal activity when cleared by your doctor. Ease into things over the course of weeks and months and your body will thank you.
As your body is healing and recovering you can move in ways that will support you and cause the least amount of straining. This might include holding your baby close to the body as opposed to far away. The further away an object is from your body, the more your core has to work. So stand close to the crib and the changing table when leaning over and lifting! Another example is rolling to the side to get up out of bed or off the couch rather than sitting straight up. Sitting straight up requires a lot of abdominal work, whereas if you roll to the side, you can use your arms to push you up.
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