In my previous blog, Yoga Tune Up® for Mamahood Part 3, I spoke about my last weeks of pregnancy. Well, I am now on the other side and the proud mama to a three-month old little dude.
The other side is wonderful, full of love, joy and excitement; and, of sleepless nights that don’t matter once you wake up to witness the miracle you’ve created. But it’s also a rollercoaster of emotions and comes with its own set of challenges.
Post C-section, I thought I’d get out of bed the same day, just like I did with my first boy. Nope, wasn’t going to happen! When I did manage to get up the following morning, I felt like a marionette whose strings had been sliced off. My breath had completely left me – my creepy shoulders had burrowed their way into my ears creating immense tension – and my whole body felt unstable, resulting in low back, knee and foot pain and a general feeling of dis-ease that stayed with me well into the first few weeks post-partum.
And so to the rescue came my beloved therapy balls. I had a set of YTU original Therapy Balls at hospital and as soon as I was able to be up and about for more than a few minutes, I self-massaged my upper back and shoulders against the wall to mobilize my T-spine, uncage my breath, and stop wearing my shoulders as earrings. The upper back sequence for postpartum self massage is now on my daily tap – between carrying my little guy and feeding him, my shoulders and thoracic spine need all the help they can get!
Right away, I also added simple movements, such as pelvic tilts and clocks, leg slides and knee sways to begin to reconnect with my core. I was surprised at how difficult those movements, which so recently were second nature to me, had now become. But as with any surgery, patience and reason are key – my mind was often ready to do things my body simply wasn’t, and this was sometimes quite frustrating. That said, with every passing week, one more piece of the puzzle fell into place and I knew I had to trust the process, no matter how much I wanted it to be speedy.
After my six-week check-up, I consulted a pelvic floor (PF) physiotherapist. We started with the breath and I was surprised to find out I couldn’t use my lungs to their full capacity. But the body doesn’t forget – after a couple tactile cues, I was able to mobilize my entire ribcage, including the lowest ribs. It really was an “a-ha” moment as I just hadn’t realized I wasn’t breathing properly! The PT also checked that my diastasis recti had closed, began working my C-section scar and assessed my pelvic floor. As it turns out, I had some scar tissue on one side of my pelvic floor that contributed to a dysfunctional psoas and QL. I also found out that although my PF could release well, the muscles weren’t as strong as they could be and was given a few simple exercises to remedy the issue (which I’m still working on).
I can’t recommend seeing a women’s health specialist enough. I would never have known about some of the issues I had – and what to do about them – if I hadn’t checked with a professional. She answered all my questions regarding returning to the activities I love and gave me all the tools and information I needed to restore my body, which was such a boost for my morale. Onwards and upwards!
Come back Friday for a few of my favourite post-pregnancy sequences.
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