For moms that are eager to feel like themselves again after pregnancy, try these tips to feel better and boost your confidence after baby!
The post partum phase can be so tough physically and mentally. Your are tired from lack of sleep. Learning your little ones habits and cues can be stressful. Your body is recovering from a major physical event. You may have new aches and pains. And on top of all of that, you might feel less than excited about the way pregnancy has changed your body. Even IF we acknowledge the change is how we have our little miracles. And that’s okay! I think most moms have felt like that post partum to some degree. You “want your body back” and to feel confident again, and that is completely normal.
The biggest factor for better comfort and self confidence is your posture. During pregnancy, our posture tends to… get adjusted. Typically, we gravitate to a forward posture and a pelvic tilt. Simply due to the natural weight distribution of pregnancy. And that weight distribution can make exercise become quite limited. Therefore minimizing our ability to strengthen and activate our posterior chain (our handy dandy back muscles).
Then after pregnancy we have weakened abdominals or even diastasis recti. We have a heavier chest due to breast growth. Plus the general care for newborns can further that poor posture. Carrying baby in a cradle position. Nursing, pumping, bottle feeding, and even burping baby forces us to hunch our shoulders forward while sitting down for extended periods of time. Holding baby on our chest while sitting or standing cause a tucked butt, forward hip posture, and again slumped shoulders. And all of the diaper changes! Whether you’re fancy and use a table or are like me and just lay baby on the ground, still a recipe for bad posture. Over and over and over again. For months.
Notice a theme yet? The biggest contributor is that forward posture or also known as upper crossed syndrome.
Improve your comfort after baby
Forward posture can cause back discomfort, shoulder aches, and even headaches from a tight and stiff neck. When the alignment of our upper spine is drawn forward, the result is added weight carried by our backs. We essentially need to reverse this posture to recenter our alignment again. One of the things I always harp on is an aligned posture is the key to a functional and comfortable body.
To reverse this posture is simple. We need to refocus our attention on our back muscles.
Do this by activating and strengthening your traps, lats, and erectors. One of my favorite exercises that stregnthen the posterior chain is the deadlift. You also need to gradually strengthen your abdominals and/or improve your diastasis recti so your low back has more support and is not becoming too tight. Finally, stretch and loosen tight chest and shoulder muscles.
My best suggestion is to make these 3 things the focus of your fitness regimen by doing them as often as needed until you see and FEEL improvement. Then continue to implement these elements afterwards for maintenance. Adjust your workouts accordingly as your body tells you!
Your workouts will be a major contributor to reversal, however daily mindfulness will be too. So after your feed, burp, or hold baby for an extended period of time, put them down for a few minutes of stretching. One of my go-to’s is to play with baby on the floor so I can lay on my belly. This position allows be to keep my chest open and passively activate my back. I also like to incorporate baby wearing with a wrap to comfortably distribute baby’s weight over my back and shoulders. This willl also minimize that “butt tuck” that tends to happen when you hold baby on your chest.
Boost your confidence after baby
Now what exactly does posture do to help your confidence? I am sure many of you are curious. Have you ever noticed that posture can really set a tone of how someone carries themself?
Think of athletes for example. Does the athlete that is looking at the floor and with a slumped posture scream winner? Not exactly. And I am sure they don’t feel like they’ve won when you see them like that. When they stand tall with their shoulders back and chins up you know they feel confident in their performance and abilities. So let out your inner athlete! Stand tall. Roll your shoulders back. Keep your chin up. You will feel more confident and you will also be pulling your posture in line at the same time.
When aligned, you will be holding the posture of a confident woman. You will literally feel the physical effects of good posture on your attitude. Plus, your mood will improve when you aren’t constanly uncomfortable or in pain. It is so important for moms to feel good about themselves and their bodies after baby. You SHOULD feel good about yourself and that confidence boost will motivate you to stay on track with your health and fitness. An object in motion stays in motion, right?
Workout to boost confidence after baby
I made a workout that is great for my postnatal mamas, but one you can keep in your back pocket even after the postpartum phase. Here you will need a PVC pipe or simply a broom stick for a few exercises that are super effective in correcting upper crossed syndrome. Ready? Let’s sweat!