Hello, hello! It’s been awhile since my last postpartum core update, so here’s where I’m at. I’m nearing 2 years postpartum after my twins and focusing on functionality (rather than obsessing over physical results) has been my mantra. This translates into being grateful for what I CAN DO more than what it all LOOKS like. Which, to be honest is a wiggly yet moderately strong looking postpartum belly. But hey, I have been doing all the high-impact exercises that I love and have minimal leaking (if any) during those workouts. Hallelujah!
My diastasis recti (separation of rectus abdominis musculature) is around 2-3 finger widths wide and thankfully not very deep at all. And while it might be a detriment to my overall core strength and perhaps also increases that load down onto my pelvic floor at times, I’m so thankful for this amazing body that has carried and delivered my 4 beautiful babies (and 2 of them at the same time!).
A Mental Shift
So it’s great to have a positive attitude and all, but why am I choosing to focus on functionality and not pour more effort into closing the gap in my abs? Shouldn’t core rehab be a main goal? It used to be. I’ve been there before with my 2 previous pregnancies: cranking out the reps & kegels, breathing techniques, proactively utilizing tools for core recovery, etc. And those are all good things and it’s wonderful to see physical progress. However, this time around (while being TWICE as busy with the twins!), I’ve wanted to pay closer attention to how my body reacts to progressively higher intensity demands as well as be more mindful and present and patient with what my body needs to do.
Did you hear that “p” word, mamas?! Patience can do wonders, my friends! It has taken me a good 18 months to feel like I’m back in the swing of things in the fitness world after having these babies. And that’s coming from someone who has always lived an active lifestyle. It’s going to vary from person to person and THAT’S OKAY. We don’t need to respond to the “fit body after baby” campaign that the world throws at women. We can rejoice in our successes, have patience with areas that could use improvement, and strive to be healthy for ourselves and our families.
Without further rambling, I guess you could say this has been my postpartum core journey in a nutshell: focusing on functionality with patience and quiet diligence to become stronger. Both a mental strength of self acceptance & body appreciation, as well as building physical strength to get me through my next workout. Both are enough because I am enough.
Here are my thoughts in video format!