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Postpartum Movement Can Be Slow Like a Snail

I’m 9 weeks postpartum this week and my body has been craving movement for the last 2. I haven’t rushed to jump back into working out right away even though I miss weightlifting so much! Here’s why...

🌀My core is very unstable. I have a 2-3 finger separation of the abdominal muscles, otherwise known as diastasis recti which is not uncommon in pregnancy. Because I don’t have the full support of my core and because my core is agitated from the separation, it makes any kind of strenuous or quick movement difficult and sometimes painful. I’m working through it with breathing exercises and compression.

🌀 My body is still closing. Even though I had a few cerrando de caderas (closing of the hips) sessions to close my bones with my postpartum team during my cuarentena, there are still parts of my body that feel open, especially my womb space and my feet which provide stability. Moving slowly and carefully is still super important at this point postpartum.

🌀 It’s cold AF in the mornings when my body prefers to move. I can’t go out to my garage to do yoga or any other light movement because it’s way too cold right now and my body temperature regulation is still very important. My house is tiny (and slanted- story for another day) so working out in the house isn’t ideal, but I recently cleared some indoor space so that I can at least stretch a bit every day.

Today was my first time trying to do more than just a few stretches throughout the day. I did yoga but I stopped a few times to take notes about what I was feeling in my body. I had to be very intentional about going slow and tuning into what my body was feeling. I had to listen when it said “too much” or “that doesn’t feel good.”

I'm sharing as much as I can about my own experience to shed some light on the postpartum experience. I realize my situation is also very different from most, because I also don't have a newborn to care for on top of caring for myself postpartum. I hope my experience inspires others to take their time healing when possible because having a newborn is a whole other level of realness.

Here are 4 tips for ways to help support your postpartum body as it continues to heal:

- Move slowly and be intentional with your breath, especially during strenuous movement (bending, twisting, stretching, lifting, squatting, etc).

- Wear your faja! If @Indigemama has taught me anything, it's to wear your faja postpartum to support your womb and keep the abdomen snug and supported as it continues to close.

- Stay hydrated and continue to eat nutritive soups, teas, and bone broths as often as possible. Even though this is traditionally practiced in the 40 days following the birth, it can never hurt to continue this practice frequently to keep the body well equipped with healing foods and teas as it continues to heal and close.

- Check-in with your body and try not to ignore the signs that it is telling you. For example, if I have been lifting and moving around too much, I start getting tightness in my neck to the point that I can't move my head straight down without feeling tension on the back of my shoulder area. This is my body's way of telling me I need to take a break, stretch, and possibly hydrate.

Professional photography by Karissa M. Raya

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