When you’re pregnant, everything about your body changes. Your skin is stretched in what feels like a hundred different directions, not to mention the crazy weight gain and all the… warts (what the heck?!). But what nobody really warns you about is what happens after you give birth, also known as postpartum.
Media has given us this unrealistic expectation to bounce back and get into shape, just like many celebs and insta-famous moms. There’s this crazy pressure for us to fit into our old jeans, like nothing happened — when in fact, SO MUCH HAS. Which is why we’re thankful for personal trainer Mindy Lagdameo of MamaMindyFit, who empowers and educates moms to regain their strength, self-confidence and sense of self, postpartum.
We recently had a chat with Mindy about postpartum care and why it’s so darn important to learn all about it:
The importance of self-care postpartum with Mindy Lagdameo
Hi Mindy, why is it important for moms to be educated on postpartum care?
Usually, once baby comes out, usually all information available and all efforts go towards caring for baby and usually mom is left wondering why her body feels so different, why she suddenly looks, feels and thinks differently. We deserve to know what is going on with our postpartum body so that we don’t feel like we are out of control or have lost our sense of self.
What are some things that most people don’t know about postpartum care?
Some very important things people don’t know or realize is that our body goes through so many changes and processes during pregnancy. In fact, as wonderful and amazing being pregnant is, it is actually such a big injury to our body.
Our spine changes shape, our internal organs are shifted out of place, our hip bones stretch, our ab muscles separate, our hormones are raging and we must gain weight which is also taxing on the body. A lot of these processes do go back to normal over time, but some need help and rehabilitation.
Is it connected to postpartum depression?
Postpartum Depression happens because our hormones levels are changing and trying to normalize after we have a baby, and this is a process which is natural, but not necessarily something that you need to suffer through. One way to help alleviate the symptoms of PPD is definitely through the right type of postpartum exercise.
So, can it be prevented by postpartum care?
PD can begin at different times for everyone. For some they feel it straight away during the newborn phase, for others they feel it a little later on, and the degrees or severity will also vary from person to person. It may not always be prevented especially for Mamas who start to feel it right off the bat, but the symptoms can definitely be alleviated. I have had many clients who began my postnatal program at 6 weeks postpartum and have claimed to not feel the effects of PPD.
There are different ways to help alleviate the symptoms of PPD. Exercise is arguably the best type of postpartum self care as when we exercise, our body releases happy hormones called endorphins to help combat the ones that are imbalanced and raging during our postpartum period. Also, being able to do something for yourself, taking some time for yourself really makes a good difference as well, mentally.
How do you do it?
I have developed a 4 week core restoration program that has helped hundreds of mamas begin to regain their core and sense of self. A big factor that exacerbates PPD is when mamas feel like the no longer look and feel like their old self. Symptoms like constant back and neck pain, feeling weak or tired all the time, having a pouch that won’t go away, or leaking pee when they sneeze or move; all of these contribute to making a new mom feel like she has lost her sense of self.
This program is safe and recommended for Mamas at 6 weeks postpartum whether you delivered via CS or NSD. However, it is also never too late to do the program, it will still be effective even years after giving birth. This program will rehabilitate the abdominal muscles which may still be separate and are definitely still “asleep” after the long months of pregnancy, it will strengthen all the parts of the core and pelvic floor and take away the symptoms of disfunction.
Feeling stronger, having better control of their bodies and with the added bonus of a flatter, firmer tummy all help to make mama realize that she has not lost herself— she has evolved into an even better version.
Would you say you’ve learned from experience?
I have 2 daughters: a gentle, sensitive, sweet 5 year old named Ellie and a rambunctious, incredibly intelligent, spunky 2 year old named Erica. They are usually part of my workouts; we love playing and moving together!
And yes, I’ve experienced PPD. My father died 3 months after my first child was born, and my grief was so immense and lasted such a long time. For my second, my PPD was so much worse that I was even suicidal at times, and I did not even know what was triggering these dark thoughts, I would just try my best to push these out of my head. It was terrible.
For new moms experiencing this for the first time, please know that you are not alone and this will not last forever. The fog will lift. Please reach out to other Mamas who will be able to understand and help you get through, and know that there is a way out of the fog. I’m putting my hand up for any mama who needs someone to talk to!
And now for the ultimate question… is it really possible for moms to get their pre-baby body back?
Every time we have a baby, our body is renewed. It is never the same. But this should not be thought of as a bad thing. There is a chance to optimize this new body to be even better than it was before you had children. How long it takes can vary from woman to woman.
My Mamafit process runs for about 3 to 6 months, workouts are short, three times a week and simple enough for any Mama to squeeze into her busy day. We begin with core rehabilitation, then we focus on increasing energy and boosting metabolism, and finally we build overall strength. The aim of this process is to ease Mama into a sustainable exercise routine that is not hindered by the busyness of Mama life.
It is definitely possible to still have your healthiest, best body ever after having a baby. You just need to give yourself a chance.
Book a session with Mindy:
FB @mama.fit IG @mamamindy.fit