The thought of jumping has many post-natal women feeling worried. Yet many women are keen to return to their usual sports and exercise regimes post-baby.
So how do you know you and your body are ready to start progressing your exercise program and getting back into those more vigorous exercise options?
Wait at least 3 - 4 mths post bub before you even begin to think about higher resistance/higher impact activity and then work your way through the questions below
Do I have any symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction?
Symptoms could include a range of the following:
leaking - incontinence ofyour bladder, bowel or wind
urgently needing to go to the toilet (not being able to hold on)
going frequently but only passing small amounts
difficulty going to the toilet (incomplete emptying of bladder or bowel)
heaviness in the pelvic floor region
back or pelvic pain
If you answer YES to any of these then book an appointment with a women's health physiotherapist for a pelvic floor assessment because you need to sort out these issues before going any further. If you answered NO, then proceed to the next question
Are you breastfeeding?
Whilst breastfeeding your body is still not in a pre-pregnancy state and the hormones of lactation can have an impact on our connective tissue. In addition, higher impact exercise can be more uncomfortable with lactating breasts. So you might want to choose lower impact activities whilst you are feeding. Also if you are trying to lose weight, remember that your body might store some extra fat whilst feeding just in case of famine so that you can still continue to nourish your bub - making it difficult for some people to lose weight.
Do you have any ongoing pain or problems from your pregnancy?
If so, get these assessed and treated so that you can return to your sport or activity more comfortably and prevent further injury
Ready to proceed?
Then test your readiness with the JUMP TEST.
Wait till you have a moderately full bladder (i.e. you will need to go soon but you aren't busting)
Level 1: Do 6 tuck jumps in a row
If everything 'holds together' (i.e. no accidents) and you feel strong move to the next level.
If not, you are not ready for more high impact or resistance activities
Level 2: Do 6 big star jumps in a row
If everything is good (no leakage, no pain, no problems), then move to the next level.
If not, spend some more time getting better strength & endurance into your pelvic floor
Level 3: Do 6 big star jumps with a cough.
If you can do this, well done and you can gradually build up your higher impact activities. I say gradually because 18 jumps doesn't take long and you still need to build up your endurance over longer periods.
If not, you are going well but you need to do a bit more ground work to reach this level
Don't rush yourself or your body. Just gradually build up your activity levels, starting with your support centre (pelvic floor/abdominals in an appropriate & safe way) and working out from there. Sometimes slower and steadier and respecting that your body needs time to adjust after pregnancy and birth, leads to a better result in the long run
Seek advice if you are unsure about how to progress your exercise in the postnatal period.