I’m so thrilled to have fellow Michigan fitness blogger, Tara sharing with you today! Soak up her expertise with me! ~Kate
Hey, friends of Kate! My name is Tara and I write A Daily Dose of Fit, a blog about fitness, health and everything in between. Currently pregnant with #2, I’m thrilled to be posting for Kate while she’s out with her precious new #1. Since she’ll eventually be getting back into her own fitness routine, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss fitness after pregnancy. If you’ve been there, you know it’s a challenge. And if it’s new territory for you, the challenge might come as a shock.
Perhaps I can help?
1) Your doctor or midwife might request that you wait six weeks before returning to the gym. After those six weeks, you’ll have a checkup and (if all goes well), you should get the all-clear. The important thing here is to listen to your doctor AND your body. They both know what they’re doing.
2) Your core will be extremely weak. No matter what you did during your pregnancy to help maintain muscle tone and strength, a flat, toned and super-strong stomach you will not have after that baby evacuates itself! Your abdomen was stretched during pregnancy, which means that your muscles were, too. Ease your way back into core exercises with isolation exercises. Especially if you’ve experienced any diastis rectii (separation of the rectus abdominus muscle). And remember, core work will only be a part of your baby weight-loss story.
3) When you run, jump or otherwise move rapidly, you just might pee a little. Too much info? It happens to the best of us, so practice your kegels and wear your pantyliners just in case. Typically, this phenomenon rights itself as the muscles in your pelvis regain their strength.
4) Your workouts will be hard. Really hard. But they’ll feel good. Slow and steady wins the race in this situation. Even though you’ve been given the all-clear after that six-week mark, you’ve still got some healing to do. And your muscles, let’s be honest, have some work to do because they’ve probably taken it easier and easier on the downward slope to delivery.
5) Believe in the “nine months on, nine months off” theory. Baby weight doesn’t fall off when the baby is born. Some of it will, yes. But it’ll be all baby, water and anything otherwise associated with your womb. Any fat you gained during pregnancy will need to come off on its own in a healthy way. Work at it when you get the all-clear and you’ll see results in due time.
6) If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need a comfortable sports bra. The ladies will change on a daily basis to accommodate milk supply and demand. Your sports bra should support this! Exercise comes with bouncing, jogging and otherwise jiggling…but all of this should be done with your extremities, not your chest. And speaking of comfort, you may experience discomfort if you exercise too closely to a feeding or pumping session. Be careful with any exercises that require you to be on your chest/stomach just in case.
Bottom line, remember that health and fitness is a unique journey. Listen to your body, mind and soul and, once again, respect what it tells you. And even though you’ve got baby in hand now, keep an open dialogue with your doctor or midwife to facilitate an active, appropriate and successful recovery.
Did any of these surprise you? If you’ve already had a baby, what surprised you most about postpartum fitness?
Linking to Healthy Tips and Tricks Tuesday