At first things may be a bit hectic, but give yourself a little time and you will soon both settle into a steady routine. Allow yourself about six weeks rest following the birth in order to recover properly and make sure you have the ‘good to go’ nod from your midwife or Doctor before you set out to start losing that ‘baby weight’. (Please note: During these first six weeks you can start with some basic pelvic floor exercises but should leave any strenuous exercises until after your 6 week check up with your midwife or Doctor).
It’s important to take some time out each day for you, to restore your body, mind and wellbeing. When you are fit, focused and contented, you will be more able to deal with the demands of everyday life.
For many, the priority will be to try and flatten the tummy, however in order to do this correctly you must first start working the deep inner muscles of the core, the trans versus abdominus (TVA), together with the pelvic floor, as these are the muscles which will help you flatten your tummy over time.
To activate the pelvic floor: lie on your back, with knees bent and your feet on the floor. Locate the front of your hip bones and place your fingers on them, move your fingers about a centimetre inside each hip bone. To engage the pelvic floor, imagine you are stopping the flow of urine by squeezing upwards internally, tighten your back passage as if you are trying to stop breaking wind. Tightening these areas is engaging your pelvic floor.
To activate the trans versus abdominus: lie on your back, with knees bent and feet on the floor. Imagine a piece of string is attached to your belly button and it is being pulled towards your spine. With your fingers in place as per the pelvic floor, you should feel some tension of the muscles just inside your hip bones.
Two core conditioning exercises:
4 Point Tummy Vacuum: Get on all fours, making sure you maintain the natural curve in your back. Without raising your back, engage your pelvic floor and TVA, hold while breathing in and out five times. Release. Repeat up to five times.
4 Point Superman: Get on all fours, making sure you maintain the natural curve in your back. Activate your pelvic floor and TVA. Lift one arm and opposite leg up off the ground and stretch them out. Hold while breathing in and out five times. Return to starting position and repeat with other arm and leg. Build up so you can eventually complete this four times.