After my labour with our first I was ‘one of the lucky ones’. My body seemed to ‘bounce back’ pretty quickly, and I don’t remember feeling that different to how I’d felt before the pregnancy. I was soon back into my pre-baby jeans, my tummy had no lasting repercussions and I felt fit again not long after becoming a mum…
Since having our second child however, things have been very different. Whether it’s because the labour was much more intense this time, or because I’m just not as young as I like to think I am any more (!), pregnancy and labour have definitely taken their toll on my body.
In all fairness, I probably didn’t help matters.
I didn’t take nearly as much care of myself during this pregnancy as I did my first. The ‘no lifting’ rule kind of goes out the window when you have a toddler clinging onto your leg demanding to be picked up. My hips and back gave way multiple times when carrying her, but still I carried on. This in turn meant that refusing to lift anything else became a little futile, and so I’ll admit that I probably overdid it. Moving house seven months pregnant probably didn’t help either!
Pelvic floor exercises were also few and far between second time around and I took for granted that I was fit and well and everything with the pregnancy was going according to plan.
But I have been surprised by how long it’s taking me to recover. Harry is now three and a half months old and I still feel like there’s an imposter within my body. A much older and more sluggish imposter. I literally only have to get up too quickly and something, somewhere, hurts.
And let’s not even talk about laughing too hard, or sneezing too vigorously…I’ve definitely been making up for those pelvic floor exercises I failed to do enough of during pregnancy!
But thankfully there is light at the end of this tunnel. With every month that passes by, I feel a little more like myself again. I know I’ve got a long way to go until my body fully recovers, but it does feel like it’s finally on its way.
We’ve recently started to look at joining a health club as a family. I still feel too delicate for heavy workouts (not that I’m pretending I’ve ever been a fan!), but perhaps it’s time to start getting active again.
I’ll keep you updated on my progress, but if you’re pregnant and reading this, please please, please listen to the advice from your midwife and look after yourself.
You’ll thank yourself in the long run.
How was your post-baby body? Did you find it more difficult to recover from subsequent pregnancies?