- A source you can trust for postpartum exercise -

How our physiology links to post natal depletion

It’s a big topic these days, and in a culture where phrases like “go hard or go hard home” and “bounce back” are the norm, it’s refreshing to see the conversation about depletion open up. 


All humans, regardless of whether or not they have had a baby, have a capacity for what is know as total physiological load. 


This is a summation of all the stressors in our life, poured into one big "cup", inside of our bodies, in order for us to process. 


And for everyone - once the cup is full, it’s at capacity. 



*Physiological stressors can include (but are not limited to) the:


- Biochemical 

- Nutritional 

- Mental Emotional

- Biomechanical 

- Thermal

- Hormonal


Essentially these all go into that one big cup inside our body that handles the total amount of load, or ‘stress’ we experience. 


If it goes into our cup with plenty of room, generally these stressors aren’t experienced as stressful.


But once the cup is full, there’s literally no more room for any stressors, without potential negative consequences to our health.


And so if the stressors continue to come in, our bodies can reduce their capacity to heal, think and cope with daily life (baby brain anyone?).


Over time we can develop physical aches and pains, anxiety, depression, illness and chronic disease.


Knowing that this concept of summating stress is not exclusive to mums - but that this is how our human physiology works - for all of us - it’s easy to see how the stressors of a new human, and recovering from birth, can overfill that proverbial cup for many women. 


So what can we do?


Taking stock of how we are feeling about what’s coming in at us daily, and how we feel on the inside, can often give us a great indication of how much load we are currently experiencing. 


If you’re a mum,  know that recovering from birth, combined with looking after a tiny new human, are 2 huge stressors going into that cup.  And for most women, these 2 things alone means our cups are full.   


This isn’t us 'not coping'.  This is physiologically normal. 


Feeling overwhelmed by how much we have to do doesn’t mean we’re not doing a good enough job (which is often how new mums can feel).

It just means it’s time to remove some items from the cup.




Kristy Ahale, Clinical Exercise Therapist.

Exercise can add to our total physiological load.  Ensure that if you are undertaking a post partum exercise program it's designed to heal, and not overload you. 

The Postpartum Method - Core and Pelvic Floor program -  is sequenced and divided into 3 levels with this concept of physiological load as a guiding principle.


*from "How to eat, move and be healthy" by Paul Chek 




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