Before you have a baby, you start thinking about what life will be post pregnancy. Life without the constant heartburn, swelled feet, constant bathroom breaks and a beautiful baby moving around in your belly will be things of the past! Many new moms start to form their post pregnancy workout plan towards the end of their pregnancy….and then the baby comes. All sorts of unknowns come into play: recovery could be longer or shorter than anticipated, energy levels may be unpredictable, and time may be limited. As a new mom who was focused on fitness before, during, and after pregnancy, I thought I had my post pregnancy workout plan all figured out. However, I learned that my plan wouldn’t really take shape the way I thought it would. Here are some tips that helped make my post pregnancy workout plan work for me.
- Do not start working out too soon. A woman’s body, though it may feel fully recovered, is in recovery long after the birth of their baby. By returning too soon or doing too much too soon, your body may develop injuries, leaving you back on the workout sidelines. Elastin is a protein that remains in a woman’s body six months after birth. This protein is in connective tissue to help your body stretch and adjust to growing a baby, but it also makes you sensitive and prone to injury due to strenuous work. It helped your body when growing a baby, and it needs time to leave after all that hard work! The recommended amount of time for women to wait to engage in challenging workouts is six weeks for a vaginal birth and eight weeks for a cesarean section. Always consult your doctor before beginning a workout plan. They may give you the green light earlier or advise you to hold off a little bit longer.
- Start slow. I cannot say this enough. START. SLOW!!! Ease into workouts. Before strenuous workouts can begin, you’ve probably already laid some ground work with walking and pushing a stroller because of cabin fever! Whether you’re returning to cardio like running or cycling, or returning to your favorite group class, take it slowly. My first day back to running, I ran one mile. I felt amazing. I wanted to keep going, but wisdom screamed in my head to stop. I slowly built up my mileage safely to ensure that I would be able to continue running without injury.
- Do something you enjoy. If you don’t love running, don’t do it! If you can’t stand yoga, don’t go to a class! Your time away from your baby is too precious to be wasted on an unenjoyably activity. Do something you enjoy, and if it’s in a group, even better!
- Try at home workouts. I am completely guilty of being unmotivated by working out in my home. However, winter was rough and there were days when we weren’t able to leave the house! Some awesome at home workout options are Daily Burn, Pop Sugar, and YouTube videos by trainers. As always, DVDs are a great option! Jillian Michaels has a fantastic series that many of my mom friends use.
- Workout with your baby. Whether in person or online, there are some great mommy and me classes that will get you toned while keeping your baby entertained! Some of my favorite workouts were with my little boy. Doing Russian twists with a 12 pound baby is easier said than done!
Most importantly, take it easy on yourself. If you fit into your old jeans a few weeks after giving birth, more power to you! If you do not, like me, remember that this is a process. Some days I would find myself so caught up in my slow postpartum return that I would miss little moments with my precious baby. Stay positive and focus on what you can do, and the rest will fall into place.
Any moms lose a good amount of weight by just changing eating habits? I have literally no time to exercise. I’m 6 mo pp and I seriously look 6 mo pregnant! I was 110 lbs pre-pregnant. I want to go back! I start tomorrow!
I had my 6 week pp appointment today and felt like I was doing ok…my stomach is almost flat again but not fitting in my pre pregnancy clothes just yet. I still need to lose at least another 20lbs. I couldn’t breast feed because LO didn’t latch and my milk didn’t come on. I don’t know how I am going to exercise on top of everything else…
I’m having a tough time coming to terms with how my body looks post pregnancy. I’m 3 months pp and just frustrated that nothing fits . I’m bf and they say that helps but I have yet to see any results . Not sure how much to exercise I know I need the calories so I can’t even diet. Anyone else feel this way or is it just me?
I tried going shopping earlier and got so upset about how my body looks. I just feel all flabby and not toned anymore. Everything I try on I feel like I look like a mom! I need motivation to eat healthy and workout…
I looked up how long it takes for the poofiness to go down after C section…I’m 12weeks PP and try to exercise when I can and I still feel fat! I try to drink liters of water, breast feed, work out, and eat semi-healthy! I just want the poof gone…