If you are looking for help with becoming active again, working out, or just getting into a routine again postpartum, check out these resources!
Postpartum Exercise can be a tricky time
You’re encouraged to return to exercise and you’re discouraged. You feel like you could exercise again, but you also don’t. Your body is different, as if you’re living in a foreign country, you don’t recognize it or the cues it’s giving you.
As a Postnatal Fitness Specialist, I’ve put together an ideal and realistic timeline for returning to exercise postpartum
Ah, those first few days, can you believe some people want to go back to exercise then? Can you believe they might have people supporting them in that want? Whether you are reading this as a newly postpartum mom yourself, or as someone who is preparing for this stage in your life, hear me loud and clear:
GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO REST AND HEAL IMMEDIATELY AFTER BIRTH
Or in other words: weeks 1-4. These weeks are still a very delicate time in your healing journey, it’s important to still be realistic about your postpartum exercise goals. But, pregnancy and postpartum isn’t a disability so I don’t want you to treat it as such. Give yourself space to slowly ease back into some very basic things such as breathing exercises and light walks (the fresh air is great for mom and baby!)
The 6-week clearance from your doctor is just kind of a silly thing to me. Yes, I understand it’s put in place to remind women to not go too hard too quickly and there ARE medical needs for it. But the stigma around it is what’s weird to me. We wait and wait and wait, and reassure others that “we’re waiting for 6 weeks” because otherwise we’ll get our hand slapped if we don’t.
But! Those first 6 weeks could be optimized by natural movement and movement of everyday life. Give yourself permission to do a little something if you feel ready! Use this as permission to do a little something as you feel ready! As a postnatal fitness specialist, trust me that there are benefits to this.
AKA the first 4 months, or weeks 6 through month 4. You likely will start exercising during this point, if you haven’t already. But you’re not expected to run a marathon or compete in the olympics, in fact I discourage going that hard that quickly. Now is not the time, no matter what your favorite social media influencer says.
ahhh, here is where you can break away a little bit! Pick up the pace if desired, exercise for enjoyment again! If you took my advice and took it slow the first 4 months (and if you worked on your core and pelvic floor strength) then you’ve set yourself up for success with your exercise during this period. No, you’re still not sprinting a 5k or maxing out your lifts, but you’re challenging yourself and it feels good!
Now you’re moving and grooving but you also might hit a sticking point. This is something most people don’t talk about. There comes a point postpartum where you are no longer “getting back to it” or “focusing on recovery” or “re-learning yourself” and now you are kind of in a position of “no what?”. It might come across as a sticking point, or it might come across as not being where you naively thought you would be. This is where mental toughness and honesty with yourself comes in to play. Sis, you’re still a rockstar! And believe it or not, you’re still healing.