People give you all kinds of advice on life after you have your baby (ehm-sometimes too much advice), but you honestly won’t really know what you need or how you’ll feel until you find yourself lying at home on the couch with an icepack, a jug of water, snuggling your brand new human.
Will you feel like you can’t walk for weeks? (ME!) Or will you feel ready to get back into your workout routine right when you’re cleared? Having an active pregnancy right up until the end does not always translate to jumping right back in to where you left off!
Whenever you are ready, there are some things you maybe don’t expect when you try to start working out again:
- Leaking… enough said.
- Being worried about milk supply, soreness, engorgement etc etc.
- Being interrupted multiple times by crying, pacifying, feeding, holding your baby, and taking your own pee breaks!
- Not being able to hold your pee in when you jump or run
- Not being able to do upper body weights EVER because your arms & shoulders are perpetually sore from carrying baby & the heavy car seat around
- Being so tired from not sleeping that it takes days to muster up the courage to workout, & then several days before the next workout because you’re still sore/tired from the last one
- Your old workout clothes don’t fit the way they used to & you may not feel like yourself
- Starting, then stopping for several weeks, then starting again, then stopping again. It may take many more months to get into a regular routine than it did pre-baby! And just when you get into a routine, your baby may switch it up on you.
- Needing way more pelvic floor work than you think… Taking a break from your old HITT routine & sit ups to focus more on kegel exercises, glute bridges, wall sits, light sumo squat pulses… The “boring” stuff. Your insides need to HEAL!
- Feeling guilty because you’re not giving your baby your full attention (or maybe have a sitter while you head to the gym), but hey, mama’s gotta be strong to handle the craziness of motherhood!
- Your body may feel up to it, but your mind may not, especially if struggling with postpartum depression, anxiety, or hormonal fluctuations
And because everyone has to offer their 2 cents new moms, I’ll offer mine:
You might not bounce back right away, so take your time, be gentle with yourself, and laugh at yourself A LOT. Your body just went through an amazing and incredibly taxing miracle. Any time you’re active is a victory! Take it one day at a time, and focus on getting some movement in each day–walking with your baby around Target counts 🙂 Speaking as someone that has always LOVED to workout and was running the stairs hours before my water broke, it has taken me 6 months to feel up to a consistent routine again, and really wanting to get back into it.
As with most things worth doing, the path is often not linear, but we keep working at it. Listen to your body, and push yourself–or tell your partner to push you– when you feel up to it and know you need to! And remember, even if you’re not thrilled about how your body looks postpartum, please appreciate it for how it housed your little one and worked hard to bring them into this world ❤