Getting back to your previous level after giving birth isn't always as straightforward as one may hope.
In the last piece, I spoke about regaining any movement variability lost during pregnancy as a way of returning to form. Now I'll lay down another few things that may help those wanting to get firmly back into the sporting saddle, whatever sport that may be.
2) Addressing scar tissue.
As we all know, some births require surgical aid for safety. Surgery leaves scars of varying degrees. With scars, its often the case that what we see and recognise is the so-called "tip of the iceberg" being just the surface representation of what lies beneath. Scar tissue will often span multiple layers of tissues down to muscle tissue meaning that it affects the mechanical properties of that tissue, affecting its force producing capabilities therefore altering movement capabilities. There are many different ways that the properties of scar tissue can be normalised. I would suggest if any of the scars you have seem to prohibit your movement or strength to research some of your options on this front.
On a different front, scars also seem to have a profound neurological effect on strength and function. I have worked with ladies who having had C sections and other surgeries were left unable to use certain muscles intentionally. After some gentle touching and massage of the scars in some cases, these ladies were able to use the muscles they had been unable to use in the months and years before, almost like a switch had been turned on.
If you feel different after giving birth, it may be worth getting in touch with me or finding somebody else who does similar work who may be able to determine whether your scars are what are keeping you from being truly back in the game after having a child.
3) Fear and anxiety.
Are you now fearing doing things in your sport that you used to do routinely? If so, go easily on yourself - you have gone through a significant, life-changing event that has changed the day to day fabric of your existence. That said, many ladies do similarly and can get back to their best. You can too. One of the simplest ways I know of that could work for you to help you get back to your best is to meditate on whatever it is that you're feeling is stopping you.
Let me clarify my use of the term "meditate on". Here, I simply mean to sit with the intent of thinking about what you're fearing and how you're fearing it and noticing what comes up for you in the way of feelings, emotional and physical. noticing changes in your breathing and posture, noticing the imagery you visualise as you visit this matter in your mind's eye and allowing your attention to come back to this matter whenever you notice you have strayed.
With no specific intention to change the way you feel, this set of actions alone will alter the perceptions that drive the fearing and feeling anxious, giving rise to new insights, perspectives and attached feelings.
I'm by no means a meditation expert but this simple, trimmed down version can work wonders for you given time. There are also plenty of other more thorough resources out there on the matter should you want them.
Movement variability, addressing scars and meditating on sticky feelings that get in the way of your sporting performance can all help you get back in that sporting saddle after giving birth.
Your life may have changed forever (for the better) with the arrival of little ones and you can continue to grow in your sporting abilities too.
Float Sting - Sports Injury Rehab and Performance, Harley Street, London W1
P.S. any Dutch readers experiencing such issues - drop me an email if you'd like to book a session during my upcoming visit in around a week