After having Nicholas I was ANXIOUS to get back to workouts. I knew I needed to let my body rest and recover, but I was so unhappy with the weight I had gained and the body that was looking back at me that I really didn’t let myself. I started workouts as soon as I felt like I could, which meant before the doctor actually said I could. I was doing workouts again at two weeks postpartum. Even now I know I wasn’t putting myself in harms way physically as I was taking it extremely easy with light walking and body weight only exercises, but what I wasn’t thinking about was how this was affecting me mentally. I was so hard on myself for not seeing quicker progress, and not fitting into any of my clothes yet. Ya’ll I was struggling and I didn’t want to admit it. So, to maybe help a fellow new mama out I’ve put together a list of things that I wish I knew then. I’m now on my second postpartum fitness journey and this time I did wait to workout until my doctor gave the green flag and I felt ready MENTALLY. The difference that made alone is huge.
FIRST TIP: Wait until you’re doctor tells you to resume workouts, AND make sure you’re in a good place mentally. Having a baby does all sorts of things to you. The hormone fluctuations are insane and seriously the LAST thing you should be worrying about is your phsyicaly appearance, even though for most of us it literally consumes our thoughts postpartum because everyone talks about “bouncing back”. But please for your sake don’t worry about it.
SECOND: Go buy cute clothes that DO FIT YOU. Keep your old clothes to help you set goals, but really you’ll feel so much better if you have clothes that are flattering, cute, fit you correctly, and aren’t sweats. I did this around 3 months postpartum after having Nicholas because my clothes still weren’t fitting and we were about to go on a family trip for Thanksgiving, and it helped me so much during that time.
THIRD: Don’t push yourself too hard in the beginning. Stick to light weight, body weight, and proper form. You most definitely will not have the same level of endurance you did before pregnancy and thats completely normal. Postpartum fitness is almost like starting completely fresh, thats what makes it frustrating and so rewarding at the same time. You learn to appreciate the strength you gain back so much more than you did the first time.
FOURTH: Focus on engaging your core in ALL exercises. After having a baby your core muscles are going to be weak, and you’ll feel as if you have little to no support in that area. If you focus on engaging your core in every exercise you do though, you’ll slowly gain it back and feel so much more supported. This also helps with lowering your risk of injury, because really anyone and everyone should be engaging their core at all times during workouts.