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Postpartum Workouts: Why Neutral Alignment Matters for New Moms

Alignment is crucial in all aspects of life. Just as your actions should align with your goals and priorities to achieve success, your body's alignment is essential for optimal function and health. This concept is especially important for postpartum women as they begin to heal and strengthen their core after giving birth.

What is Neutral Alignment?

First, it's important to define neutral alignment. It consists of vertical stacking for the skeleton and maintaining a neutral pelvis.

Vertical stacking refers to the vertical alignment of the ear, shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle. When you stand, imagine a straight line connecting these points. This alignment helps your body function optimally.

Postpartum woman standing in neutral alignment with the ear, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle in one vertical line.

A neutral pelvis is when the ribcage is stacked directly over the pelvis and the pelvis is neither tipping forward (creating a sway in the lower back) nor tilting backward (with the hips tucked under). Instead, it's neutral, right in the middle, where the hip and pubic bones are on the same plane. If you imagine you have headlights on your hip bones, they would be shining straight forward rather than shining at a diagonal towards the floor or upwards towards the ceiling.

Postpartum woman standing with a neutral pelvis.

When the body is in neutral alignment, it allows the body to work optimally and creates less stress on the joints and tissues, thereby reducing the risk of injury.

Why Neutral Alignment is Crucial for Postpartum Moms

Now, it is more important than ever for new moms to be aware of neutral alignment because they spend so much time throughout the day doing things that tend to pull them out of that alignment. Nursing, rocking the baby, bathing the baby, putting the baby into the crib, and sitting an older baby on the hip all contribute to poor posture.

It's impossible to be in neutral alignment 100% of the time, and this is especially true for new moms because of all these activities. However, being aware of neutral alignment is important so we can aim to maintain a good posture as much as possible.

The Role of Neutral Alignment in Core Healing and Strengthening

Neutral alignment is also super important for postpartum women because it is the first step in healing and strengthening the core. A woman's core undergoes tremendous stress throughout pregnancy as the belly grows to make room for the baby. This causes excessive intra-abdominal pressure in the core, stretching the linea alba (the tissue that connects the rectus abdominis or six-pack muscles) and placing extra stress on the pelvic floor, not to mention the trauma of childbirth itself.

This stress can lead to issues in the postpartum period, including diastasis recti (abdominal separation) and pelvic floor dysfunction such as urinary leakage or pelvic organ prolapse. Finding neutral alignment is the first step in healing and strengthening the core in the postpartum period.

Tips for Maintaining Neutral Alignment

  1. Mindful Movement: Be aware of your posture during daily activities. For example, bend your knees and keep your back straight when lifting your baby.

  2. Regular Check-ins: Periodically check your alignment throughout the day, especially during prolonged activities like nursing or sitting.

  3. Strengthening Exercises: Incorporate exercises that promote neutral alignment and strengthen the core and pelvic floor. Gentle pelvic tilts and core activation exercises can be beneficial.


Understanding and maintaining neutral alignment is not just a fitness tip; it's a vital aspect of postpartum recovery. Being mindful of your posture and making small daily adjustments can significantly reduce the risk of injury and promote a stronger, healthier core. Remember, it's about progress, not perfection. Aim to maintain good posture as much as possible, and over time, it will become a natural part of your routine.

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