First off, let’s get something straight..
I’ve never had a baby myself. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know just enough about it to be dangerous!
My wife, Erica, just had our second little one a few months ago. And she’s pretty much an expert in all things baby.
So.. I feel ok writing a blog post about how to adjust to the life after baby comes and what it means for a mother’s fitness.
To start off, what do I mean by postpartum?
If you have had a baby (or multiple), you are considered postpartum.
Now that we got that out of the way, why do I even need to write a post about this type of training?
I think there is a big disconnect with what should happen with momma and baby after birth, and what actually happens.
For example, we have visited the pediatrician at least 5 or 6 times since baby boy was born two months ago. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for taking him in to make sure he is healthy and progressing as he should.
The real disconnect is how many times my wife has seen her doctor since that day..
I don’t know about you, but I feel like there should be more visits than that!
I mean, how do you know she is healing properly on a physical as well as a psychological level??
Having a baby is difficult on several levels.
They change your body. Your emotions. Your schedule. To name a few.
Hence the disconnect I mentioned earlier.
So back to the training part.. How is momma supposed to know what she should be doing to “get her body back”?
What about the things she should avoid doing so that further injury can be prevented?
Here is what I know.. And I have talked about it several times in the past..
A quality postpartum training program is just smart training.
Depending on how long it’s been since baby arrived, there are certain things you should probably avoid: lots of jumping, crunches/sit-ups, plank variations.
So what kind of exercises should you start doing?
Obviously this will depend on how you feel on a day to day basis. This might include conditions such as diastasis recti or pelvic floor dysfunction caused by pregnancy. Both of which can improve with proper training and/or physical therapy.
But to strengthen the core, I like hip bridges, deadbug 1, deadbug 2, deadbug 3, side planks, and pallof presses.
For the rest of the body, stick with the big movements, such as squats, rows/chin-up variations, deadlift variations, and carries (suitcase or farmer’s).
All of these movements will help new moms, or anyone else for that matter, function at a higher level. Whether you are lifting the carseat in and out of the car or shopping cart, going up and down the stairs with the carseat, or just running/rolling around with your other little ones, these exercises will help you move and feel better!
What to do next:
- Set some realistic goals– your body may not be the same as your pre-baby bod, but you can still be strong. I mean.. your body grew a tiny human! Give yourself some credit. You are pretty amazing!
- Schedule some time for yourself– even if it’s a 15-20 minute workout, having time to work on you is super important
- Create an exercise routine for yourself– an added benefit of getting back into (or beginning) an exercise routine postpartum is setting a good example for your little one(s). You’d be surprised how early they pick up on its importance.
- Put down the ice cream– I say this for two reasons. Erica is currently waiting on me to finish this so she can take Lily for ice cream. And two.. as you know, eating the right foods can benefit you and your baby. Even if you aren’t breastfeeding and passing the nutrients to baby, you are still leading by example as they start becoming more aware of EVERYTHING you do.
If you don’t take anything else away from this, remember this one thing.. You can do hard things.
Just be smart about how you go about doing those hard things:)