It dawned on me recently that I should view my pelvic floor injury from giving birth in a similar way: rehab the heck out of it, and do maintenance when it acts up!
Coming to this revelation took self-reflection. I resented the idea of perpetual maintenance of my pelvic floor. Why can't it just work? I also resisted viewing my experience giving birth as "traumatic" or that it injured me. Those words "injury" and "trauma" are so loaded, especially when it comes to the act of giving birth.
But, then I realized, I don't have to view giving birth as "either/or." Birthing my son was an intense, emotional, difficult, easy, magical, real, out-of-body, in-the-body experience. Regardless of what emotion I attach to the experience, the reality is that I did sustain a pelvic floor injury.
We were at the “Connect with Your Core” workshop for moms and pregnant women aimed to connect us with our core and feel stronger in our own skin. This workshop led by Frances Darnell of Dynamic Core offered a space for us to be with ourselves, our bodies, and a community of women. We engaged in honest conversations about prenatal and postpartum experiences led by local perinatal professionals.
Pregnancy and childbirth really changes our bodies. We literally move in different ways due to our center of gravity shifting, then it suddenly shifts again after the baby is out. For many of us, adjusting to these physical changes affects more than just our bodies.
Engaging your inner unit can help ground us physically and emotionally.
Doctors might give us the green light to exercise 4-6 weeks postpartum, but that often feels too soon. Parts are still jiggling, joints feel loose, muscles chronically ache, and fatigue is overwhelming.
It might take some time to work up to an exercise routine. But there’s a lot we can do to gently wake up some of our muscles. We can gradually and deliberately ease ourselves back into physical activities with these four Pilates exercises that engage our inner unit.