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My postnatal journey - 4 months in.

I was hesitant to post this picture, mainly because I'm a new mum in no rush to loose my baby belly - the weeks postpartum are not my focus! - and considering my body just made a little person (!!!!) how it looks isn't a priority to me! But I think it's important to show that it is possible to regain a STRONG flat tummy after baby with only SAFE appropriate exercise.

My progress pics are definitely not the result of long workouts, running, heavy weights or high intensity exercise, nor are they from being overly strict with my diet. I followed my postnatal fitness program from day 10 postpartum, using safe gentle exercise, healing the body from the inside out.

I focused on pelvic floor connection and recruitment of the deep core muscles, which are crucial to strengthen before getting back in to your previous training... my flattened tummy is more importantly my strengthened deep core muscles that have helped me prevent back pain, an exaggerated diastasis recti, or pelvic floor issues. On my journey they represent a healthy functioning core and a maintained quality of life postpartum. (Please not I'm not saying flat abs equal strong core as this is not always the case, nor am I saying to have a strong core you will have flat looking abs!)

The lack of awareness around safe postnatal fitness is scary. Women's health stats are not good.. approximately 1 in 3 women who have a baby will experience pelvic floor dysfunction. Every pregnancy journey is unique, and whilst some factors are out of our control such as the size of the baby or the position in utero, strengthening our body (safely, with no added pressure on an already stretched body!) is so important to help prevent or at least minimise common issues and to assist a quicker recovery after birth. Pelvic floor issues that are a result of inappropriate exercise regimes (for example, when there is an unhealed diastasis recti) are simply not good enough and so very preventable.

I'm grateful to get to share my knowledge with other new mums (and not so new.. of course prevention is best but it's never to late to start!). There is so much we can do to safely heal the body postpartum.. and if flat abs is something you want to achieve that's ok too.. but using SAFE exercise that addresses the changes the body went through growing your little miracle.

Lisa is a new mum to a beautiful baby boy. Her experience in pregnancy and postpartum has allowed for a greater understanding of the role pre and post natal fitness has in ensuring a quicker recovery. She is very knowledgable in safe exercise to promote a healthy functioning core (including pelvic floor and diaphragm) and a maintained quality of life postpartum.

Registered 'Pelvic Floor Safe Fitness Professional' (Incontinence NZ, 2018).

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