Pregnancy and childbirth are one of the most beautiful as well as an overwhelming experiences for some. It is a known fact that pregnancy and childbirth bring a lot of changes in a woman’s body. All the system adapts differently to fulfill the required elements for the growth and development of the baby. Other than the physiological changes that the women go through during pregnancy, the life after childbirth also changes. The focus shifts towards the newborn, which is the need in the early days of postpartum.
I highly encourage mothers to stay active during pregnancy as exercising would give you better stamina to deal with fatigue, better muscle strength to recover faster and a better mood overall, which just not helps you combat the expected pregnancy discomforts but also helps you recover early and stay active after childbirth.
The most common concerns that every woman has soon after childbirth are “why does this belly still look bigger after the baby is born, what can be done to have this belly go in, how much time will it take, what activities can I do”, will wearing a belt help? All of your questions are addressed in this article.
For the fun fact, the uterus is made up of smooth muscles and it grows in size with progressing weeks of pregnancy and so the abdominal muscles also stretch to accommodate the growing fetus. After the baby is delivered, the uterus is still big in size. This is why even after childbirth the belly feels the same. The size of the uterus shrinks and decreases naturally on its own with time. This process is referred to as involution. Can you speed up this process, the answer is yes. Breastfeeding helps the uterus to shrink, and you will not feel the same after a few weeks of childbirth. Breastfeeding releases a hormone called oxytocin which helps in contraction of the muscles, so yes breastfeeding does have a role to play here. If you are feeling these contractions and it is causing you discomfort, you can place a warm compress over your abdomen area along with this practicing deep breathing exercise and learning core activation exercises will be of great help and will strengthen your muscles so that you can perform your daily activities with ease.
Now let us discuss something that also causes the abdominal muscles to bulge: Diastasis recti, rectus abdominal muscle separation that is more than 2 cm. After few weeks of the childbirth if you feel the bulge, it is advised to get checked from a physiotherapist so that they can prescribe exercises as per the assessment and type of diastasis recti present.
In the above-mentioned criteria one may require a belt initially for about 6-12 weeks. An abdominal belt or a support belt as the name suggest is to offer you a good support but it would not help with building a good core strength, for that one has to engage the muscles, work on the muscle consistently with suitable exercises as per one’s existing muscle strength. A physiotherapist can help you with wearing the belt correctly and guide you with the right exercises to begin with.
In the long run, doing exercise will not only help you to get rid of the abdominal bulge but also helps in building enough strength in muscles. But to get results it is highly important to do the right exercises at the right time.
I would recommend mothers to take professional advice on which exercise to begin with and knowing exercise guidelines. Evaluation of muscles strength plays a vital role in forming an exercise program of an individual as later on the bulge that is felt is the result of having less strength and tone in abdominal muscles post recovery. The result of not having good core strength is having multiple discomforts out of which the most common is backache. A Physiotherapist can help you with having a safe exercise routine post childbirth by keeping all the exercise guidelines in mind.
The aim of your exercise program should focus on building a strong system instead of weight loss. Weight loss is the byproduct of lifestyle that we have, eating habits, consistency, patience and a good balance between your work and life.
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