In my clinic it’s often that a client will say something along the lines of “I bet when you have a baby you’ll be all over this” or “you won’t have to worry about what to do when you have a baby”.
It got me thinking about what I would do to set myself up to have the best pregnancy and postpartum recovery I could have.
I came up with a plan that I shared in an episode on the pod and I want to break it down for you in the blog today.
Let’s get into it!
Disclaimer: I am definitely not planning on getting pregnant right now. So don’t stress mom.
Before we begin I want to be sensitive to the issues surrounding fertility.
I know this can be a struggle for so many women and I don’t take this lightly but for the sake of this episode I’ll share my thoughts on what I would do assuming I was fortunate enough to not have any issues with my fertility.
On that note, if I was planning on getting pregnant I would see a doctor for a pre-conception health screening and possibly check my fertility if there were signs I may struggle falling pregnant.
Health and fitness would be my number one priority.
Probably no surprises here, but I want to get into specifics.
When you’re pregnant, you’re recommended to exercise at a maintenance level and to continue doing the same activities you’re used to doing.
Pregnancy is not the time to be taking up a new workout or activity. For example, if you’re a runner and have been for a while you can likely continue doing it but I wouldn’t start running for the first time or after a long break from it if I was pregnant.
With that, if you want to be active during your pregnancy (which ideally you would be), you will be active before falling pregnant.
Which, let’s be honest, you should do, even if you’re not planning on getting pregnant.
Something else to note is that the healthier and fitter you are the better setup you are for your recovery.
So if you’re planning on getting pregnant, let this be your motivation.
As far as health goes, I would seek professional help from a doctor to make sure I’m at my healthiest to support fertility and a healthy pregnancy.
I personally don’t have any health issues (that I’m currently aware of), but if I did, I would be using this time to get this under control as much as I could.
Again, we should be doing this anyway, but planning a pregnancy is definitely a motivating factor to get on top of your health.
I would also see a naturopath to discuss what I can do to be in optimal health using diet and supplements if needed.
Let’s get into the very popular topic of ab separation.
For those that don’t know, ab separation (or diastisis recti) is where your ab separate during pregnancy to allow space for your growing baby.
After giving birth, the separation remains and this will happen to all women who go full term.
The amount of separation, however, varies and more research needs to be done to confirm what factors contribute to the amount of separation.
What is understood is that the correct ab exercises in your postpartum recovery will help regain strength and function.
To help with this I would be making sure I had good ab strength and function going into my pregnancy.
For those that haven’t had much experience with ab training or are inconsistent with ab exercises I’d recommend starting asap. It would be so helpful and much easier to start learning how to engage and strengthen your abs now than after you’ve had the baby.
Trust me, it’s better to learn it now than when you’re postpartum, fatigued and caring for a baby!
If you’re not sure how to go about this I would suggest seeing a physio, a PT, doing pilates or even researching online.
Last, but certainly not least, let’s chat about the pelvic floor.
The pelvic floor is kind of a big deal. It helps control your bowel and bladder function, support your pelvic organs and sexual function. Basically to put it into terms that are more relevant, it helps you to not be incontinent, they keep your organs where they’re meant to be and help you enjoy sex.
So, yeah, a big deal.
Much like our health and fitness, the stronger and more functional the pelvic floor is before and during your pregnancy, the better setup you are for your postpartum recovery.
It’s easy to nod your head and agree thinking “I know, I know” and then not actually do anything about it or like most- wait until after you have a baby or when there’s a big problem.
So let this be your kick in the butt and start now.
I’d recommend seeing a women’s health physio so they can assess the strength and function of your pelvic floor and create a plan based on your assessment.
You may need to work on things like increasing strength, learn how to relax it or how to hold it for a longer time. You might already have issues you need to work on that you’ve been putting off like incontinence or pain with sex.
If you are planning on having a baby soon, try these tips out and of course seek a professional opinion to help guide you.
Feel free to ask me any questions you may have- you can contact me on Instagram DM or send me a message through the contact page on this website.