Understanding your postnatal body

Your postnatal body

Pregnancy changes a lot of things in your body –some of which are more obvious than others – so it’s important to understand your body’s changing needs after you’ve had your baby.

Your joints & ligaments will have softened

Your tummy muscles aren’t as strong as they used to be, and neither is your lower back. During pregnancy your body produces a hormone called ‘relaxin’, which helps your body prepare for childbirth by making your ligaments stretchy and elastic. Relaxin affects every joint in your body, and once you’ve had your baby it can take up to 5 months for your ligaments to get back to normal again, which means that you could more easily injure yourself without realising it. That’s why you’ll need to adapt how you do some things, such as bending down and lifting heavy objects.

Your pelvic floor may be weaker

Some women find they lose some bladder or bowel control after they’ve had a baby – for example, when they cough, sneeze or lift heavy objects – but the good news is that those pelvic floor or kegel exercises everybody keeps telling you to do really can make a huge difference!

Think about how you’re feeling

The birth of a new baby is an amazing time in your life – but you may be feeling that you’re getting a little left behind in the flurry of looking after your baby (and the rest of your family, too).

So as well as making sure you’re getting all the nutrition and rest you need for your body to recover, it’s also a good idea to try and fit some regular exercise into your new routine so that you have a guaranteed splash of time for you.

Take care & listen to your body

It’s important to listen carefully to your body and to tell us about any concerns or medical conditions you may have, so our teachers can plan and adapt the activities you’ll do in the pool.