By: Emily Warren
As a momma of a 6-month-old, I know how difficult it can be to get back into fitness after having a baby. On the one hand, I am so proud of my body and its incredible ability to create and birth a tiny human! At the same time, it can be frustrating to not have the same level of physical strength and endurance I had before pregnancy. Here’s what I’ve learned on my postpartum fitness journey so far.
Take It Slow
Everyone’s pregnancy and delivery are different, but we all need time to recover after a birth. For me, that meant a full month of just resting and focusing on adjusting to life with our new little girl.
Between taking care of myself and the baby, even just getting enough sleep that first month felt like an impossible task! I would walk around the house and occasionally take a slow jaunt through the neighborhood, but overall rest and healing were the priority.
Focus on Nourishment
As the weeks went on, I started adding more fitness to my routine. I started with longer walks and yoga a few times a week. But I quickly noticed that I was neglecting my nutrition! While my activity levels were increasing, I had neglected to increase the fuel I was putting into my body.
Luckily I caught this before it affected my ability to feed my baby, but remember that feeding yourself nutrient-dense foods and staying hydrated is key to being able to build back strength!
Now, I like to whip up a batch of oat waffles for breakfast all week (they keep great in the freezer). For busy moms on the go, getting in your protein can be SO hard. Reach for one of my favorite RX Bars for a nutritious, protein-packed snack. For dinner, I’ve found that whole-wheat spaghetti with marinara sauce is a great and easy option for the whole family. And don’t forget to treat yourself sometimes, like with these protein-packed chocolate peanut butter cups.
For me, the primary goal for postpartum fitness is building back strength. I’ve started really slowly incorporating weights into my workouts about 3 times a week.
I don’t want any setbacks due to injury, so I’ve started with lower weights than my pre-pregnancy max. As I work on building my strength, I keep increasing the challenge with increased weight or increased reps and time under tension.
Adding a lifting belt to your gear during these higher-weight workout sessions can be beneficial, especially if you are wanting a little extra support in your back.
Notice Your Progress
While I’m still quite far from being as strong as I’d like, I try to regularly notice the progress I’m making. It feels so good to be able to do a real pushup (even if it’s only one!), increase my weights on shoulder press, and hold a wall sit for a full minute.
Just like it took time to grow a little human, it’s going to take time to learn all that this post-baby body is capable of. Taking time to notice and be grateful for everything my body does for myself and my baby really helps me to be patient with progress and enjoy the process! Which, honestly, is a good perspective for learning how to be a mom, too!
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Are you on a fitness recovery journey? Tell us how it's going in the comments below!
Malia is the force behind Lifting the Dream and a proud mompreneur. When she's not lifting heavy weights, she's probably at the beach or Disney with her family. She is a Cali girl born and raised, with salt water in her veins and sunshine in her heart. She and her family now reside in Florida soaking up the sun, heat, and all the amazing outdoor activities this state has to offer.