It’s been six months since I became a mum of three and to be quite honest with you I feel like I’m falling apart.
My lower back aches all day every day (pulling a double buggy up the front steps to our flat probably has a lot to do with it), my shoulders burn by lunchtime every day (that’ll be breastfeeding and working from home with a baby on my knee) not to mention stinging eyes and twitching facial muscles from the lack of sleep.
A little while ago I tried a spot of progressive sports therapy to try and sort things out – and it did in the short term. The trouble is looking after a baby is a long term business and your body never really has a chance to recover.
So what can you do about it?
5 top tips for looking after your post baby body
1. Don’t hike your hip.
Unsurprisingly, when your pelvis has stretched in unnatural ways you can get issues as it knits back together again. Scary terms used by medical types include Pubic Symphysis Dysfunction (PSD) or Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SIJD). Which just sound bad!
PSD is simply pain at the front of the pelvis in the pubic region. SIJD is simply pain in the region of the bony bit at the back of the pelvis where it meets the spine. It is very rare for these to be genuinely ‘out of place’ and if they are you will know about it.
Much more common is muscles acting across these joints putting strain into the joints causing them to give pain.
Top tip: Try not to hike your hip up when carrying your baby as over time this will cause muscle imbalance which will affect the pelvis. Carry your baby as little as possible and use baby carriers whenever possible.
2. Don’t be afraid of pain.
RSI or repetitive strain injury is a classic over-use condition. It can affect wrists, elbows and even the shoulder, most likely on the side that you use to carry your child.
Top tip: Pain isn’t damage. Don’t be afraid of the pain. It’s there for a reason to let you know that your body would like you to put the baby down for a few minutes. Whilst you shouldn’t be scared of the pain, you also shouldn’t ignore it.
3. Don’t worry about your tummy not knitting back together.
The technical term is linea alba separation and this is an absolutely normal part of your post natal recovery. It is measured in finger widths and will get less over time. Two finger widths is very common, four finger widths can lead to some dysfunction of associated muscles but not major issues.
Top tip: This one is just the way it is so don’t worry too much about it. You only need to seek medical advice if your internal organs start popping through your stomach. This is very obvious! Everything else can easily be remedied with the right treatment.
4. Do pelvic floor exercises.
The little dribble of wee issue is very common indeed! If you’re having problems seek medical advice for re-assurance but this should naturally get better with time. Especially if you do your pelvic floor exercises.
Top tip: Do your pelvic floor exercises as soon as you are able – even if you don’t feel you need to. When you return to more intensive exercise this may find you out, so be proactive.
5. Recharge your batteries.
The combination of carrying an increasingly heavy child and the increase in stress levels which are inevitable when you have a new life to look after can lead to painful neck and shoulders.
Top tip: Have a break from your baby whenever possible. Recharge your batteries (if you want to know how see my 5 ways to feel instantly better). You’ll be a better mother when you’re fresh – physically and emotionally.
Did you get lots of aches and pains after having a baby? What did you do to ease them? If you have any advice please let me know!