Rebuild Your Core After Pregnancy
You want to be an active Mom,
but right now, you feel broken.
After the birth of your baby, you couldn’t wait for the six-week check up, so you could get back to exercise and doing all the things you love.
But that was months ago – and you still feel so weak.
- No one told you about the pee sneezes, or the constant backache.
- No one told you it would still feel like parts of your body are falling out.
- No one told you that some days you’d cry out in pain, just lifting your baby out of the car seat.
Will you ever feel at home in your body? Will intimacy ever feel normal?
Or is this it, forever?
Not if I can help it!
I’m Catherine Middlebrooks, yoga teacher, mom, wife, and founder of brb Yoga. I know exactly what it’s like to feel like your body is failing you.
After the birth of my daughter in 2012, I couldn’t wait to return to yoga and the active lifestyle that brought such joy and meaning to my life.
But no matter what I did my back hurt. My core and pelvic floor were so weak that I felt like a limp noodle. After eight months of exercise, I realized I was weaker and suffering more discomfort than immediately after the birth of my baby.
There had to be a better way.
So I switched into researcher mode, learning everything I could about abdominal strength, the pelvic floor, diastasis recti and the post-partum body. I spent hundreds of hours studying yoga anatomy, biomechanics, physical therapy, core rehabilitation and musculature, piecing together all the information to create a holistic picture.
I discovered that alignment can make or break the body’s ability to heal.
Think of your body like the tires on a car. When the tires are out of alignment, one side takes the brunt of the wear and tear.
Pregnancy stretches and weakens your connective tissues. If your body is out of alignment, movement and exercise place extra pressure on some parts of your core, leaving those weak spots vulnerable to injury. That’s why women like me find their abdominal separation or pain becomes worse, even months after birth.
Before you can safely rebuild your core strength, you must get your body back into alignment.
So I began playing on the mat, adjusting yoga poses to address muscular imbalance and my body’s compensations for the weakness in my core. I paid attention to the way I held myself as I moved through my day, to protect and rebuild my core muscles.
Before long, I was able to get back to the yoga practice that meant so much to me, with no more pain or discomfort. I not only healed my diastasis, but I felt stronger than ever, and because I was holding myself correctly, random longstanding aches and pains simply disappeared.
When the time came to have my second child, I felt confident because I knew how to move safely and I was able to restore my core quickly after birth.
Most importantly, I felt alive again.
I could say YES to all the adventures life has to offer, knowing that I could be active without fear of pain or injury.
I want that for you too.
That’s why I created Heal Your Core – to help Moms like you go from feeling broken and battered to living life out loud.
Life is short. You deserve to get your strength back, so you can bounce on the trampoline, run a marathon, dance all night at a Lady Gaga concert, get back to aerial silk work and do whatever makes your heart sing without fear of peeing yourself. (And yes, my students have done all these things).
You can be the Mom, the partner and the woman you want to be.
And it starts right here, right now.
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How To Modify Yoga For A Diastasis
After my second pregnancy I had a three and a half finger diastasis and about 60 pounds to lose. But I didn’t feel I could work out until I healed my core. I needed to heal myself and so I jumped in and committed to 20 minutes a day for 8 weeks.
I had a one finger or less gap at the end of the program. I can do kickboxing, jump on a trampoline, laugh, and sneeze without peeing myself. I have better posture and stand up taller. I have lost 25 pounds of my 60 pound goal after starting this program about 3 months ago. I thought maybe I would have a weak core for a long time, but it really did not take much time at all.
I credit this program with helping me start to get my swagger back.Natalie Rondeau
Catherine Middlebrooks is a yoga teacher, postpartum health expert, wife, Mom and the founder of brbYoga.com and Heal Your Core with Yoga. With the mind of a researcher and the heart of a yogi, Catherine geeks out on the science behind corrective exercise and helping moms like you restore your core strength so you can say YES to life again.
Catherine is currently taking yoga on the road, traveling the United States in an RV with her husband, Paul, and their two pre-schoolers. Join her on Facebook for live tips and tutorials from parks and beauty spots everywhere.