The post-natal moment I was waiting for finally arrived this week - I got the all clear from my OB and from my physio to start training again! So this week, after a 7-8 week hiatus, the training log resumes! (I use "training log" very loosely, I went to the gym once this week...)
In terms of the week aside from training....
On Tuesday I saw by OB-GYN who: checked my blood pressure (which had been an issue but was back at my usual 115ish/75ish), did a brief abdominal separation check (almost no separation), rechecked incision points (fully healed and he can't see the scars), did a routine pap smear, talked to me about ovulation and contraception (let's just focus on the one child for now...), and then signed me off to say I'm fit, healthy, and good to go! Ironically, the OB also pointed out that due to fluctuating hormone levels I have a slight pH imbalance which is best rectified by consuming cheese and yoghurt. 2 foods I love but have had to give up because Noah doesn't do so well with the gassy foods. So, like Noah, I'm on a probiotic supplement.
The only slight downer was my pap smear came back with a very slight abnormality but it's nothing to get worried about - I just have to go back in 6 months and my OB is pretty convinced I'll be fine at that check up.
On Thursday I saw my women's health physio. For those that don't know/forgot (myself included), I saw Kate Smith and Thrive Health at around the 30 weeks pre-natal mark and she did a pelvic floor assessment. The aim of this 6 week check up is to gauge the difference in my pelvic floor strength before birth to my current strength and therefore determine the best course of action to take so I can"return to play". On the pelvic floor front it is, very predictably and understandably, less strong than it was prior to birth but the good news is my pelvic floor is contracting well, it is somewhat strong and does have some endurance. I'm also currently a low risk for prolapse given the contraction abilities of the various pelvic floor muscles. Following the assessment Kate gave me a pelvic floor strengthening program to follow.
Kate also did a diastasis recti (DR) assessment to measure the separation of my core muscles. Good news - the pre-natal training paid off and luck was on my side. I have basically no separation except for a tiny separation around my belly button (where my stomach expanded the most). Kate said the separation would actually solve itself if I did nothing but also did some further tests to give me an idea as to where I can start with core work. I'll expand a little later.
With that, not to make this all about me but also to make it all about me, here's the training log!
I need to start off by restating that I am a pre-/post-natal certified trainer, I was very active before I became pregnant, trained throughout my pregnancy, did not have any complications with my pregnancy, had a routine natural delivery, and was cleared by both by OG-GYN and my women's health physiotherapist to resume training. I know my body very well, I know how it is supposed to move, and I know what muscle groups I need to retrain first in order to safely resume training. My post-natal body and post-natal experience will be very different to the person beside me. Therefore, just like my pre-natal training log, this log is by no means the gold standard and I do not intend for anyone to follow this to a T. This log is here to demonstrate that you can resume training as early as 6 weeks (some return earlier) provided you do so in a controlled and safe manner.
For the last 6 weeks I've been trying to do: 10-15 fast contractions and 6-8 longer isometric holds (5-10s) each time I breastfeed which realistically means I do it once a day.
This one has been harder to do because Noah has been so attached to me. I've been trying to do as much belly breathing as possible. Not wanting to do anything more than that until I saw Kate for the DR assessment.
I didn't want to jump the gun with training just yet so Monday was actually a fairly standard day. Went for a 60min stroll in the morning while Noah napped, ran some errands, did another 60min stroll in the early afternoon while Noah napped, and was pretty chilled out the rest of the day.
Ran some Christmas errands in the morning for 90min while Noah napped. I then had the doctor's appointment, ran a few more errands, and then headed home. Central tends to rattle Noah quite a bit because of all the construction and trucks and noise so by the time we got home it'd been 4 hours of Central traffic and hustle and bustle and it took her an additional 4 hours to settle back down. She struggled with lengthy naps so it wasn't a super productive day.
Started the morning strong with a mini-hike from my place up to the Peak. It was my first trip up in many weeks and it actually went much better than expected. I made sure to be aware of any pressure in my pelvis/pelvic floor/core and I didn't feel anything.
Didn't want to overdo it today as I really wanted to wait to get a sign off from Kate before I really returned to training so the rest of the day I put my feet up and embraced the Christmas spirit with some tunes.
Started the morning with a long walk and ended the day JUST shy of the 20,000 step mark. The biggest things that happened today: the appointment with Kate and we started to build our gingerbread village. We completed the City Hall, 2 houses, 2 shops, and what we ultimately decided was a guard house.
Late start to the morning because Noah slept until 8am! We did a morning stroll to Cyberport and then spent the afternoon with some friends. By the time we got home at 4ish Noah was a bit fussy so we opted for a quiet night in, a movie, and just some chill time.
Same same but different. Exactly the same situation today as Friday only a different group of friends!
HELLO MY OLD FRIEND! Gyms are closed so I've decided to start filming a few homework out videos using Noah as a weight. Given it's been 7 weeks and my body has been through quite a lot we kept it super super stripped down and simple today:
15-20 of much needed upper body mobility
3 sets each:
A1. 10-15 Pelvic Floor Contractions (Pelvic Floor)
A2. 8-10 5s Pelvic Floor Isometric Holds (Pelvic Floor)
A3. 10 Table Top Heel Drops (Core)
A4. 10 Table Top Crunches (Core)
NOTE: these core exercises were prescribed by a physio, these exercises are considered "advanced" at this stage and are NOT recommended at the 6 weeks post-natal mark unless your physio tells you it is appropriate. Please do see a women's health physiotherapist before doing any core work.
B1. 12 Squats with baby as a weight
B2. 10 Kneeling Shoulder Presses
B3. 20 Miniband Lateral Walks
C1. 10 Split Squats with baby as a weight
C2. 12 Bicep Curls
C3. 12 T Pulls
The rest of the good stuff
On Monday I was noticeably much more hungry compared to normal. I couldn't stop eating and I was never full! Noah isn't eating more frequently but I think she's probably eating more per feed as her stomach starts to expand so I imagine my calorie requirement has gone up a bit.
Noah’s strength continues to impress people. She’s always (since literally birth) been able to pick her head up and look around but her latest obsession is standing. She doesn’t stand and slouch though, she basically stands at attention which makes me giggle every. time. Weird kid...Carrying her in one arm has been a perfectly fine way of holding her for a few weeks now, you don’t even need to support her head because she’ll hold it no problem. However, we all keep a hand behind her head anyway because every now and then she’ll go rogue and attempt to launch herself backwards out of your arms (Hashtag NoCoreStrength). She also pulls this rogue move occasionally when she’s done feeding which definitely keeps me on my toes...We basically have our own Evil Knievel.
The rest of the week was fairly smooth sailing, we were even marginally successful with bottle feeding! Then Friday evening and Saturday hit. I don't know whether it's a developmental leap or just a good old growth spurt but Noah was not impressed with very much in life. Saturday especially she was not keen at all on naps, she wasn't too interested in eating, and was therefore very very VERY fussy. She was tired but she couldn't sleep. She was hungry but wouldn't eat. So we just decided we had to get through the day. Luckily we were with friends which meant the day went by much faster than it would have if we were at home but we basically just had to deal with a crying baby all day. The most hysterical part about the day though...because she is such a strange child the only way we could get her to stop crying was to let her stand up.
To end on a good note: at about 5am on Sunday morning I'm pretty sure she laughed twice. Not a long laugh but a pretty decent "ha!" as she was smiling away. Heartwarming way to start a Sunday. (I know newborns arent supposed to laugh they’re significantly older than 7 weeks but it’s been a long week so please just let me have this.)
On that note, there is a screaming child in my flat who I should probably go pay some attention to.
Until next week!