I get asked this a lot in my group exercise classes.
Truth is, you’ll always be postnatal if you’ve gone through pregnancy as that’s what it means.
Essentially, your body, your mind and your life have changed.
In technical terms, they say it takes up to 6 months which is the time it takes for the muscle tone and connective tissue to restore to its pre pregnant state(1). However, the full recovery of pelvic floor/organs can take much longer, and for some may never fully revert to how they were pre pregnancy.
In less technical terms, going back to “No Longer Postnatal”, it depends what you mean by postnatal.
Usually in my classes, it’s often a comparison of where new mums to how new mums were exercising before having their babies, what they were lifting, running or how they moved.
Plus, it’s probably in relation to “doing things that you do in a postnatal exercise class”, like considering your pelvic floor when lifting, core exercises that aren’t designed to burn your 6 pack muscles and lifting lighter weights than what you’d lift previously, because although your legs can squat 60kg, your vagina can’t.
This is the groundwork or the rehab. It’s what helps you get back to feeling more like yourself with bodily functions (almost) restored to where they were (i.e a pelvic floor/core that will work automatically).
From here, you then build on the strength/speed/power, like you would in any training programme and “train like a normal person”. And this, ladies and gents, is why we have Postnatal UpLift: The Next Level, plus pre and postnatally qualified instructors at The Barn KT9 taking all our classes.
Occasionally, if things don’t feel right, you’ll have to rejig your training, think about your pelvic floor a bit more, but it’s just like an old injury. It’ll probably always be there but you’ll be fine to train as usual, if not better, provided you do your groundwork.