I had my baby 5 years ago, is it too late for postpartum rehab?
I get this question a lot and the quick answer is No. Our bodies are amazing and this includes the ability for it to constantly be changing and adapting to the loads that we put on it, for better or worse. It doesn’t matter if you had your baby a few weeks ago or a few decades ago, if the muscle weakness and muscle pattern impairments have not been addressed, then they still have the potential to change and improve!! Would we treat any other physical condition this way? Would we ever think that just because you twisted your knee skiing 5 years ago, that there is no point finally seeing someone for it? If your grandmother said she wanted to start exercising to get stronger would you tell her that it’s too late? Why do we more readily accept conditions that are a result of pregnancy and birth? (This is a whole other blog post topic!)
Of course I would like every woman to have postpartum rehab early on in their postpartum journey to avoid developing compensations and pain/injuries but it is never too late to start on your postpartum journey.
Many of the posture and muscle weakness issues that are common in postpartum women do not spontaneously recover with time so they are still just as relevant 6 years after having a baby as they were 6 months after. When I was working in an orthopedic clinic, I was seeing more patients who were in their late 40’s to late 50’s who were coming in for various issues ranging from neck to back to knee……the common thread between these women were that they all presented with postures and core weakness patterns that had been present since they had their babies 10-20 years ago and these impairments had gone untreated until they developed an acute injury as a result. I treated their orthopedic issues by starting them on the same type of exercises I start my early postpartum clients on plus the hands on treatments they needed for their body.
See if we never reconnect and reclaim our bodies after having our babies, our body sits and waits for us to come back home. And then our body is so happy when we finally take the time to embrace it and say “Hi, sorry I haven’t been taking care of your needs and have been taking care of everyone else but I’m here now…..I’m ready to reclaim you as my own again, I’m ready to feel your strength and stability…I’m ready to give you the connection you have been waiting for”.
Is your body still waiting for you?