Getting back to ‘Pre’Pregnancy Hannah!

Bouncing back after pregnancy
Getting back to 'Pre'Pregnancy Hannah! 1

2020 was a rollercoaster of a year for everyone, with the announcement of lockdowns and the spread of COVID-19, it seemed set to be a pretty bleak year. Thankfully, there was a little glimmer of hope and happiness for me as I had my little girl, Poppy, in October 2020.

There are so many things I could discus here, such as being pregnant during a pandemic, being told by doctors you must isolate from friends and family for yours and your baby’s health, and of course, having a newborn when COVID-19 was still very prominent. But, I’m focusing on post birth and the stigma that there seems to be with “getting back to your pre-pregnancy self”.

Going through pregnancy, I was bombarded with information on ‘Bouncing back after pregnancy’ and it’s almost like you feel your worth as a new mother is determined by how quickly you can drop back down to your pre-preganncy weight, lose the mum-tum and have a flat stomach.

Well, do you know what?

It’s not.

The female body is AMAZING. The fact that it can bring life into this World is incredible (I still can’t comprehend how my body created Poppy), but I am so grateful that it did. And so I decided to be kind to it in the months post-birth.

Just because a lot of women have babies (in fact, 754 babies were born just in Leeds in October 2020 – Poppy being 1 of those!) does not mean it isn’t a big deal. Pregnancy takes a huge toll on your body, which is often overlooked.

How Did I Look After Myself During Pregnancy

Getting back to 'Pre'Pregnancy Hannah! 2

I have always been very active, and exercised before becoming pregnant. This gave me the best shot at being able to stay physically active during my pregnancy too (always get your doctors/midwives go ahead to exercise during pregnancy).

Being physically active during pregnancy has so many benefits including:

  • Reduces backache, constipation, bloating, and swelling
  • Boosts your mood and energy levels
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Prevents excess weight gain
  • Promotes muscle tone, strength and endurance

Plus it can also:

  • Lower your risk of gestational diabetes
  • Shorten your labour
  • Reduce your risk for a C-Section

I am a Pre and Post Natal Qualified Personal Trainer so I knew which exercises were safe to do during each stage of pregnancy, however, if you’re not sure you can join our Mum and Baby class which is suitable for pre and post natal ladies!

Of course, when suffering with morning sickness, SPD, or the many other pregnancy related ailments, it is okay to just rest and not feel guilty about it. Listening to your body is the best thing you could do!

How Did I Look After My Body Post Birth

Healing from a C Section

Having a c-section was one of my fears but delivering my baby safely had to be my priority, so after 30 hours of being in labour, her heartrate dropped, and off for an emergency section it was (Poppy had no intention of ever coming out haha, this was one of many things she did to stay in – she literally avoided a planned c-section a few days earlier, but that’s a story for another day).

However, nothing quite prepares you for the healing process after. I was a fit, healthy woman who went into hospital, and I came out barely able to sit up without being in agonising pain, let alone move around.

Thankfully (and I honestly put this down keeping fit throughout my pregnancy) my body made a quick recovery – I was able to walk without being being hunched over or in pain pretty quickly.

First trip out 10 days post c-section for Pumpkin Picking!
First trip out 10 days post c-section for Pumpkin Picking!

I felt it took 9 months postpartum to finally start to feeling like my body was mine again! Although the scar healed quicker, it took time to build the strength back in my lower core after having it literally ripped apart lol! Taking time for my body to rest after my c section was tough but needed – I’m still amazed at women’s bodies for being able to create a little life so giving it the rest it needed was the least I could do. However, not having any mummy fitness classes to go to due to lockdown meant I probably took a slightly longer rest than my body needed – I know how hard it is to motivate yourself (especially when you’re tired from disturbed nights sleep!) But when W Fitness reopened, my workouts were back on track and I felt GREAT for it! I felt more mentally focused, fitter, and more like ME! And feeling like that made me a better mum and I felt energetic enough (and mobile enough!) to play with Poppy as long as she liked.

So remember, to take time for your body to heal post-birth, it’s gone through something huge. You don’t need to ‘bounce back’, you need to rest, heal, cherish and thank your body. Then when you’re ready to feel like YOU again after pregnancy, we’re here to help you at W Fitness – just send us a message ❤️