I’m continuously amazed at the human body. God designed our bodies for carrying, birthing and nourishing a child. How weird is it that 3 months ago, there was a tiny human inside of me?!
I feel good. I’ve fully healed “down there” (no more stitches!), and my 6 week post-partum checkup (FOREVER AGO) was A-OK! Since my 6 week checkup, I’ve started Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy. My doc referred me to The Center for Pelvic Floor and Core Rehabilitation here in Cincinnati. I’ve only been a handful of times (scheduling is proving to be difficult), but I’m really glad that I decided to go. I put a sample of my exercises at the bottom of this post (skip it if you don’t want to read about female anatomy)
Anyways, my pelvic floor is getting stronger, which is exciting because I’m starting Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp next week! I still have to be mindful of jumping exercises, but I’m excited to have a routine to follow! We’ve still been taking walks, though not as much since it got COLD outside. I’m making it a point to actually USE my gym membership now that it’s chilly.
Here are a few comparison pictures (I’m also using the 3 month photos as my “beginning” place for Bootcamp “):
And here are the differences in measurements:
I’m definitely not complaining about any of those stats. Like I mentioned in Adeline’s 3 month post, she’s getting heavier (yippee!) but I need to build up some serious shoulder strength if I’m going to do lots of baby shoulder presses during playtime! Even though my stomach is flat, I still have trouble with core exercises such as side planks. I’m working on challenging the muscles, but I’m still being cautious enough to stop if something doesn’t feel right.
I wrote about my feelings of losing my “old self” in my birthday post . I also wrote about our struggle with Adeline’s 12 week growth spurt . Aside from feeling stressed when I’m pulled in too many directions, I am feeling good. If you are expecting, or if you are a new mom, FIND MOM FRIENDS! Even if you are just a part of a forum on a baby website- it helps to have shared experiences with other women. It’s pretty fun to “talk” to some of my internet mom friends in the middle of the night via Twitter. It juts makes you feel good knowing that there are other women in the same boat as you
Okay, so that’s the end of the post- if you want to read about specific pelvic floor exercises, read on…
Basically, the PT has me working on Kegels, but they actually TAUGHT me how to do them properly. I’ll share a brief bit about the exercises, so if you don’t want to hear about lady-parts, skip on down.
I’m doing 4 different exercises- all while lying down (so that you’re not fighting against gravity). These exercises aren’t “holding” exercises, they are designed to make you more aware of how your PF contracts.
Rear Kegel (red circle): Imagine picking up a kernel of corn with your anus. Focus on drawing the kernel up towards your belly button and release.
Middle Kegel (green circle): Pretend you are pulling something up through your vagina (you can use a finger if you’re having trouble pinpointing the area). Pull up towards your belly button and release.
Front Kegel (blue circle): Place one hand on your pubic bone, try to “pinch” your urethra against your pubic bone.
Deep Breathing/Full Kegel: Take in a deep breath, filling your lungs with air and allowing your belly button to rise. As you exhale, draw your belly button in towards your spine, tighten your abs, and do a “full” kegel, pulling your pelvic floor up towards your head and in towards your spine. My PT said that the motion of the pelvic floor is coordinated with breathing, and that after pregnancy, you usually have to re-train those PF muscles to coordinate with inhalation and exhalation.
Does that make sense? We started doing those exercises lying down, 5-10 reps per exercise. Next, I worked on doing them a few times throughout the day. Then, we moved on to completing the exercises while sitting. Today, I was told to do a full kegel contraction while sitting, but to also gently lift my leg up off of the ground while holding a contraction (leg stays bent at a 90 degree angle).