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Can you “Bounce Back” After Having a Baby?

Can you “Bounce Back” After Having a Baby?

In this Moms Who Pole series, Andrea talks with other pole and aerial artists who happen to be moms as well, sharing insights into physical fitness training, the diversity of movement in pole dancing, motherhood, and the challenges of being a mom in today’s fast paced world.

Being a mom is a beautiful, life-changing experience. But for many pole dancers, it can also raise questions about their physical fitness and movement journey. The desire to “bounce back” to pre-pregnancy form is common, but the reality is that it’s not a linear process.

I hear it all the time from pole dancers who are either pregnant or have recently had a baby.  They talk about how soon they can get back to pole the way they did before they were pregnant.  I get it.  You’re so excited to welcome new life into the world, and at the same time your body is literally telling you that you cannot do the physical things you love… and you hope it’s just temporary because your body is not working the way you want it to sucks!

The reality is, though, that there isn’t a “bounce back” moment after bringing new life into the world.  Your body has undergone incredible changes during pregnancy, and expecting it to snap back immediately is unrealistic.  Your body went through these incredible changes growing new life, and that took months!  How could you expect all those changes to immediately recede now that you have a living baby in your arms? Embrace the new chapter and celebrate your mom-body!   Also… about that baby…

Sleep is crucial for recovery: Newborns aren’t always the best sleepers (mine weren’t!  My son ESPECIALLY wasn’t!), and sleep deprivation can hinder your progress.  Additionally, the stress of keeping the tiny human alive or perhaps not bouncing back as fast as possible can raise cortisol levels, which can further impede physical recovery to former pole greatness.  This can further frustrate new pole dancing moma’s, and create a vicious cycle of stress, possible over training, frustration, and even injury that further sidelines your movement journey.  Be kind to yourself, prioritize rest, and adjust your training accordingly. 

I recently sat down with Athena Wolf, contortion coach, belly dancer, and former pole dancer, to discuss the fallacy of women’s bodies needing to “bounce back” after having a baby, as well as the importance of focusing on specific aspects of your training in order to achieve maximum results without suffering from burnout. 

Watch the episode here:

So how do we get around the totally normal feeling of wanting to go back to a time when things were simpler and our body responded in a way that was familiar to us? 

I think back to one of the things that made me fall in love with pole dancing.  Pole dancing helped me learn to  love my body for what it is and what it is capable of.  With that in mind:

Focus on specific aspects: Instead of aiming for complex tricks, concentrate on strengthening your core, rebuilding muscle memory, and exploring gentler moves that feel good to your body.  Maybe that ayesha or swirly handstand tricks aren’t happening right now, but while you rebuild the brain to transverse abdominis connection, you can focus on creating textures and tempo changes of moves that DO feel good to right now.  I’m a huge fan of messing around with leg waves – you can really get a good ab workout in making them look big, small, reversed, going across different planes, etc. 

Embrace your new movement: Pole dancing helped you fall in love with your body. Instead of focusing on how you were pre-baby, consider embracing all the new and beautiful things about your body as it is now. Reconnect with that love and appreciate the new way your body looks as it moves around the pole.

Celebrate your journey:  Focus on progress, not perfection.  Returning to “the basics” doesn’t need to feel like a setback. Be proud of every step you take on your post-baby pole journey. Think of it as an opportunity to get reacquainted with your body, to grow in your pole journey in a new way,  and celebrate the fact that you are officially a Mom Who Poles!

Inspired to get a pole?

Did these tips get you thinking it’s time for YOU to get a home pole?  I am affiliated with X-Pole and highly recommend them for a proper home pole setup.  You can even call them and describe your space to get recommendations on which products you’ll need for a successful and safe home pole setup.  You can check out my link here to order your pole today.  (As an affiliate, I will receive a commission from any purchases made through this link).

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