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Dr. Hanna's 6 Week Postpartum Movement Reintroduction

These 6 weeks have flown by so fast!

Here is a peak into this stage of my postpartum journey. 

The outline below is the program I created for myself and have followed 4 times per week. The most important focus leading up to Week 6 was to listen to my body throughout each session. I didn’t approach this with sets or reps in mind, but more so performed to my body’s tolerance and didn’t force anything. Some days I did more, some days I only did 1 set of each! My goal was to just begin to remind my body what it is capable of, and to make my last rep my best rep!

This will build the foundation I need when I start to gradually reintroduce traditional exercises into my routine.

Starting at Week 2, I have been focusing on the neuromuscular re-education of my pelvic floor and core musculature along with mobilizing and strengthening my thoracic spine. I didn’t realize how much of a hit my thoracic and cervical  spine would take between nursing and caring for a newborn!

  • Diaphragmatic Breathing with pelvic floor and transverse abdominus contraction in various positions (hooklying, quadruped, kneeling, seated, standing, single leg stance)

  • Foam Roller Mobility

  • T-spine extensions

  • Open books

  • Roll outs

  • Thread the needle

  • Chin Tucks, chin tucks, and more chin tucks!

I made sure to incorporate this throughout my day while caring for Baby Sean! For example:

  • Standing and sitting transitions from the couch

  • Holding baby and walking

  • Going on stroller walks 

  • Doing 5,000 loads of laundry every day

  • Picking up the countless dropped items since my dexterity is now terrible for some reason

Week 4

Progressing to floor exercises while focusing on a diaphragmatic breath with each rep:

  • Supine Marches

  • Bridges

  • Bird-dogs

  • Quadruped Chin Tucks

  • Modified side planks

  • Low planks

  • Side plank clamshells

  • Wall angels on floor and wall

  • Mobility progressed to focus more on hip and lower leg now that I’m more recovered and can tolerate more movement

  • 90/90 switches

  • Adductor rocking

  • Sciatic N. Glides

  • Dragon pose

  • Mermaid pose

  • Any other movement that I felt I needed and felt good!

  • I incorporated longer walks (~30 minutes) when the weather permitted

Week 6

Here we are! I had a different plan in mind, but as parents know, you have to modify and adjust to the baby’s needs! 

So here is my 20 minute leg/core movement routine while baby wearing, aka, with an 8.5lb weight vest for my CrossFitters out there! I labeled this leg/core because when any movement is performed correctly, it’s a core exercise! I also performed these movements very slow and controlled, performing a diaphragmatic breath on each rep since this is my first time performing these movements in a routine postpartum.

4 Sets: 8 Split Squats/side

10 Squats

10 Single Leg RDL/side

10 Lateral Squats/side

Baby Sean was rocked to sleep after the first round! I made sure to stretch my quads afterwards and once I put Sean down I stretched some more later! 

Stay tuned for some more movements throughout my postpartum journey. 

NOTE: this isn’t a prescribed protocol for all postpartum women, and we recommend you receive a professional evaluation to determine the best program and starting point for you!

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