“I need new shoes to help fix my mummy tummy!” might sound like a flimsy excuse to extend your collection of footwear (and your other half might be a wee bit sceptical). But if you don’t own a pair of completely flat or negative heeled shoes, then it’s completely true. So get yourself to a shoe shop quick!
Wearing shoes even with a small heel messes with your body’s natural alignment. And, holding yourself off-kilter can contribute to a host of postpartum health problems: prolapsed organs, a tilted uterus, pelvic floor pain, diastasis recti and pelvic floor dysfunction are among them.
Does that make high heels sound a little less ‘sexy’?
Heels, whether an inch or five inches high, are the nemesis of your postpartum body. As your body works hard to heal from the trauma of childbirth, wearing heels undo the progress and create a physical stalemate.
Your High-heeled Strut Keeps Your Body in a Rut
Let’s look at the underlying cause of the “mummy tummy” to see how those heels contribute to that lingering pouch around your middle.
It’s important to remember that your mummy tummy is not the real problem. Neither is diastasis recti (abdominal separation). You see, “the gap” in your abs and other postpartum body issues (like pelvic floor weakness, hernia and prolapse) are SYMPTOMS. Your mummy tummy is a symptom too.
The real problem – what you have to deal with first – is excessive intra-abdominal pressure. Pushing outwards, it causes diastasis recti and hernia; pushing downwards, it puts stress on your pelvic floor.
Intra-abdominal pressure is raised during pregnancy and sometimes doesn’t return to normal afterwards. If you have poor alignment, this prevents pressure in the abdominal cavity from decreasing to a healthy level.
Wearing heeled shoes force your body into an unnatural position and into a pattern of movement that repeatedly raises pressure within your abdomen and pelvis.
So swapping heels for minimalist shoes or very flat flats help you reduce the pressure – giving your body the chance it needs to heal. Only then can you work on firming up your midline, strengthening your pelvic floor and making real progress towards attaining flatter abs and body confidence.
To fully restore your postpartum body, you need to build awareness, strength and suppleness in all the core muscles, getting them to work together as a team. Sitting less, getting out of high heels and realigning the way you stand and move is an integral part of this process.
It’s just as important as the other part, which involves finding your core muscles, learning to gently contract and relax them, and breathing optimally both at rest and with your exercises.
These are the first steps to restoring a weakened core and healing a diastasis. Then, and only then, you can start to effectively repair your core and melt away your mummy tummy to reveal fit, firm abs.