You’ve just had your baby, and chances are one of the first things on your mind is “when can I start exercising again?” The most common piece of advice is to wait until your 6-week postpartum appointment, where your doctor or midwife will discharge you and officially give you the all clear. But what are they looking for in order to give someone the green light? What questions can you ask in order to have a meaningful discussion regarding your postpartum health?
First, consider this. For 9 months you’ve grow a human, and then said human exited your body. You will have hormones still out of whack (especially if you’re breastfeeding), your sleep patterns will be off, and nutrient levels in your body can be a little low after sharing your vitamin and mineral stores with another body. Labour and delivery is no joke either, as I’m sure you well know. In addition, many women experience pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence, and diastasis recti after delivery.
Before I continue, none of this is meant to discourage you from reaching your health and wellness goals, feeling like yourself again, and just returning back to life. But let’s take a step back and look at the big picture, then make a plan that will gradually ease you into the activities you love.
So, now what? Well, 6 weeks is hardly enough time to fully recover from all the fun things mentioned above. You grew a HUMAN. You deserve a bit of TLC. And part of TLC is doing things that your body can handle and gradually ramp it up. No one likes injuries, and going slowly is the best way to reduce injuries. Yes, its important to make sure baby is gaining enough weight, pooping through enough sleepers, waking you up at all hours of the night. But what about you, momma? Here is a handy list I put together that you can take with you to your appointment.
- Am I showing signs of pelvic organ prolapse or diastasis recti?
- Can you refer me to a pelvic floor physiotherapist?
- Were there any issues with my delivery I need to know about?
- How are my incision site looking? Has my perineum healed from the tearing?
- Is *this* normal?
- Can I get a second opinion on that?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially if you feel something is off. You know your body best, and the more knowledge you have about your body the stronger and healthier you can be for your baby.