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Bounce Back, Baby! A Complete Guide to Postnatal Fitness

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Bounce Back, Baby! A Complete Guide to Postnatal Fitness

Congrats on the new baby! It’s a beautiful time in your family’s life with lots of new changes. One change that moms aren’t always ready for are the after effects of giving birth. So let’s talk about postnatal fitness!

It’s usually obvious, but yes, your body has changed!

Often times new mothers are not sure when and how they can safely begin a postnatal fitness program. After pregnancy, mothers will notice increased joint flexibility and a sharp decrease in overall strength and core stability.

Essentially, you’re left with a very weak core and a vulnerable spine that forces the use of incorrect muscles to stabilize the body, resulting in overly tight muscles that pull the body out of alignment. Long story short, this is bad stuff that can leave you feeling defeated and discouraged quickly!

Let’s talk about your pelvic floor. No, not hardwood or tile floor, your pelvic floor.

You know, the “sling” of muscles, ligaments and tissue that works like a trampoline and stretches from your pelvic bone to the base of your spine? It supports your bladder, bowel, and uterus and is heavily stretched after giving birth. And, if not properly strengthened postnatal, you might find yourself having to pee when coughing, sneezing, or even jumping. A weak pelvic floor may leave you feeling less satisfied during sex, too!

Now that we’ve got that awkward talk over with, let’s start rebuilding your pelvic floor properly before you just jump into exercising like crazy to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight.

Once your physician has cleared you for exercise, start with these general exercise guidelines and tips:

  • Start with walking several times per week
  • Avoid excessive fatigue and dehydration
  • Wear a supportive bra (you may need to size up if you’re nursing!)
  • Stop exercise if unusual pain is experienced
  • Stop exercise and seek medical evaluation if bright vaginal bleeding occurs that is heavier than normal menstrual period
  • Drink plenty of water and eat appropriately
  • Breastfeed before exercising

Ok, let’s move on the meat and potatoes of what to do for postnatal exercise with step-by-step video instructions from yours truly. We’ve also simplified the video instruction into a printable format just for you to follow along.

Our first priority is to regain your pelvic floor and inner core stability by teaching you to activate both muscles. Next we’ll strengthen the inner range of your abdominals.

Thirdly, we’ll strengthen the outer core with functional exercises and progress to resistance training.

The first two steps that are often skipped and leave you wanting to “wee” when you least expect it!

For now, the following exercises are off limits and not recommended until full capacity of your core strength is gained:

  • Explosive weight or kettlebell training
  • Heavy weight training
  • High intensity weight or circuit training
  • High impact running

Remember, we want to rebuild your strength from the inside out and ensure safety. With the workout program I’ve prepared for you, I’ll instruct you step-by-step and coach you through each exercise to ensure you feel 100% confident with your postnatal fitness.

post natal workout - GoTimeTraining (6) Postnatal Fitness

That now officially makes me your personal trainer! And, if you haven’t met our amazing Creative Specialist at GoTimeTraining, Andrea, she has prepared an awesome and easy to follow download guide for you to print and use at home or the gym.

 

If you’re pregnant and not quite ready for our postnatal workout, Andrea has written a great article about how exercise benefitted her recent pregnancy! It includes a free download for pregnancy-based workouts, nutrition tips, and contraindications, too. Click here to read how to maintain a fit pregnancy to ensure you bounce back quickly.

I’m sure at this point it’s time to feed your new bundle of joy or make a quick diaper change but here’s another great blog post to save or keep open on your phone, It’s a Day in the Life of Eating Healthy While on Mom Duty by our Nutrition Coach, Stefanie Griffin, who has lost 125 pounds herself after having 2 kids.

Cleared to Exercise and Want Out of The House?

Maybe you just had your bundle of joy a few months ago or they are already 2-3 years old. Either way, it’s important to be aware of the changes your body after having a baby. If you have concerns about how to get your fitness restarted, GoTimeTraining personalized fitness coaching includes individual functional movement assessment, strength training and nutrition program design, and supportive coaching every step of the way.

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