5 things about your post-baby body that might surprise you

After I had squeezed my baby out, I thought the hard graft was done.

Sure, I now faced the challenges of learning how to be a mother and getting to know my child, but the physical stuff was over, right?

Wrong. Getting to grips with my post-baby body was definitely an eye-opener and one I wasn’t expecting.

So what exactly happens? Here’s the lowdown:

The cellulite

5 things about your post-baby body that might surprise you Strong Fit Well

Even if you’ve never had cellulite before, there’s a chance that you’ll notice some orange peel flesh post-birth, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Why? Because prolactin hormones cause the body to retain water.

How to deal?

Potassium is believed to help reduce cellulite – this can be found in foods like bananas and coconut water. Exercise too is beneficial as is body brushing and massage. And don’t forget to drink lots of water.

The incontinence

5 things about your post-baby body that might surprise you Strong Fit Well

Sneezing, running, laughing. Activities that seemed totally harmless before can now become a source of anxiety as weakened pelvic floor muscles result in poor bladder control.

How to deal?

Kegels! It’s never too late to start doing these. Establish a connection using your breath and work your way up from there. Avoid high impact activities like running or jumping until you are ready. Stay protected with a panty liner for any small accidents.

The leakage

5 things about your post-baby body that might surprise you Strong Fit Well

If you’re breastfeeding, there’s a chance some of that milk may make an unwelcome appearance between feeds soaking through your clothing to leave two wet circles.

How to deal?

Pop a breast pad in your bra to soak up any unexpected leakages. Try to wear colours that don’t show damp like grey. And avoid exercising in a probe position which puts additional pressure on your breasts.

The separation

5 things about your post-baby body that might surprise you Strong Fit Well

Get your midwife or GP to check your abs for diastasis recti – aka separation. Two thirds of women experience this stretching of connective tissue between the left and right sides of their abdominal muscles during pregnancy. It can close by itself after birth, but often a little extra help is needed.

How to deal?

Certain exercises such as the bird dog and cat cow can help, but if your gap is separation is sizeable, it is useful to see a physiotherapist that specialises in post-natal recovery. Avoid front-loaded exercises that put too much pressure on the core like planks and push-ups.

The fatigue

5 things about your post-baby body that might surprise you Strong Fit Well

You may have expected a few sleepless nights, but you probably didn’t anticipate the intense tiredness that will become your daily normal. Fatigue can have a number of serious repercussions so grab naps when and where you can.

Lack of sleep and subsequent flagging energy levels may also see you reaching for sugary snacks and junk food which can aggravate the problem.

How to deal?

Try to eat as clean as possible and always keep healthy snacks in the house and in your handbag for those moments of weakness.

Mild exercise, particularly in the fresh air, can also help to boost energy levels.

About Anne Majumdar

Journo turned fitness professional, passionate about helping people to live a healthier and happier life! A long way from London, I now call Sydney home.

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