Riina's story - my postpartum recovery journey

Dec 29, 2022

Hi there. I am Riina Laaksonen, a personal trainer, a mother of three boys, and the founder of Nordic Fit Mama. 

I founded my company to help as many new moms as possible in their postpartum recovery.  When I got back to exercising after my deliveries, I made all the possible mistakes: I trained too hard and in the wrong way and ended up harming my body instead of healing it. I learned the hard way that you must always listen to your body and keep in mind the importance of rest and recovery. 


Here’s my (postpartum recovery) story 

I had two babies in a row and did not exercise between my two pregnancies. The younger of my two children was born with a C-section, a much more complex operation than people usually think. I have always exercised a lot, partly because of my background as a sports instructor and because I enjoy intensive training. 

My workout regime was rigorous until I got pregnant the first time. When I re-started exercising after giving birth to my youngest child, I found myself in an entirely new situation. The difference between the previous fit me and the postpartum me was huge! I had lost my balance and coordination and had to learn to do some exercises again from the beginning. I felt I could not trust my core and had little confidence in my body.

When I searched for information on postpartum rehabilitation, I eventually encountered the issue of separated abdominal muscles, Diastasis Recti. I knew immediately that I had suffered from this condition. 

At that point, my youngest child was 1.5 years old. Later, a qualified physiotherapist confirmed the diagnosis. It was clear to me from the start that I should start the rehabilitation with the help of a professional. 


How to start postpartum exercise 

In my postpartum training, I focused on the pelvic floor muscles and transverse abdominal muscles at the same time. As I was used to intensive workout, I found it challenging to keep the pace sufficiently slow at first. But training too hard can cause stiffness in the pelvic floor muscles and make the problems in the core even worse. This is precisely what happened to me. I made many mistakes. 

I know my body well and listen to its messages as carefully as possible. I knew I was not yet ready to return to my pre-pregnancy training routine, but I believed that with the right exercises and professional instruction, I would get there in the end. And eventually, after learning the right way, I did.

Because of this personal experience, I am passionate about proper postpartum rehabilitation. I don’t want anyone to suffer and search for help for as long as I did before my diagnosis. I want to raise awareness so that as many mothers as possible know how to heal their abdominal separation and pelvic floor muscles. I want them to get the right kind of help. 

I want to say to all women who are struggling with postpartum health issues - stay strong! Do not suffer in silence. You are not alone. Taking good care of yourself promotes the quality of life for yourself and those close to you. We, mothers, and our families have deserved it!

Nordic Fit Mama is here to help you. Join us today!


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