The human body is complicated. Pregnancy changes the body in such ways that you wouldn’t recognize your own features any longer. But your precious little one makes it all worthwhile.
A challenge that every mother has to face after childbirth is regaining control of your body and bringing it back to normal. As a new mother, I went through that struggle after my first pregnancy.
Shortly after my first delivery, I joined a fitness program for young mothers and quickly fell in love with the routine.
I was fit and in very good shape when I found out that I was pregnant for the second time. I was ecstatic but also didn’t want to give up my workout routine that I knew was powering me through my days. So I turned to my doctor for advice.
My doctor suggested that I continue doing it, but did caution restraint. So I sought out a trainer who understood the requirements of pregnant women as well as the risks involved. Since I have been working out for some time and was not new to the routine, I knew it wouldn’t be too much of a struggle. My trainer and I sat together to tweak the entire routine to make it suitable for my pregnant body. We eliminated high-risk postures and heavy lifting and made it less rigorous. The next step, of course, was to get the routine approved by my gynecologist because I wanted to be on the safer side.
I also did not want to be reckless and jump on to it. I knew I had to take it easy on myself, especially during the first trimester. In the first month of morning sickness and uneasy sensations, I skipped exercising and limited my physical exertion to light strolls in the park. As the difficulties passed, and I started feeling more comfortable and like myself again, I was ready to kick it up a notch.
I was careful to avoid anything that demanded too much exertion. I also avoided ab workouts like leg raises and straight-leg toe touches that would increase the intra-abdominal pressure. Squats, cycling, and brisk walking are usually recommended by doctors for those who are pregnant. These generally carry little risk but are of great benefit to the body.
My trainer was particular about the amount of water I drank and my diet. And I made sure that I never pushed myself too hard. I learned to listen to my body and stopped when I had to stop. It is equally important to keep going and not take long breaks after each workout, as this might backfire.
Honestly, I kept going because I liked it and it felt good. But I realized the actual benefits of exercising almost throughout pregnancy only after delivery. I had managed to retain my posture to an extent. It improved my stamina and helped me survive a somewhat difficult delivery. A few weeks after my delivery, my physician told me that my abdominal muscles were not too tense, and the diastasis was not very bad.
I was lucky to have the support of my husband and family, who didn’t put any irrational restrictions on me. Once they were convinced about its benefits, they were very supportive. Usually, pregnant women do not get much exercise because they are worried about the mishaps that may happen. Carrying a life within your body might be a spiritual ride, but it can very well be an exhausting and bumpy one too. It can also be emotionally daunting. We need to take care to make sure that we do everything possible to keep our balance.
Getting a minimal amount of exercise daily can do the trick. The body and the mind are closely connected, so physical activities can bring your respiratory rhythm and your mind to stay calm. As everybody knows, the mother’s emotional and physical well-being is linked to the baby’s health.