Hey friends! Life as a new mom is tough and one of the last things I want to worry about right now is how can I get my body back in shape after baby? Well, luckily I have an expert like Dave Smith to offer me a little bit of guidance and to take the questions out of postnatal fitness. Read on to find out more about getting back in shape after baby!
Having a baby can be one of life’s most exciting moments. You are creating a life and beginning a new stage of your own life. But, the process of having your baby…well, let’s just say it comes with some baggage.
For nine months your body is being altered. Your bone structure is changing, muscles are stretching, and internal organs are preparing for the birth process. While this is all necessary, it can leave even the fittest women feeling like they have just taken a huge step backwards in terms of their personal fitness.
How do you, as a new mom, safely get back into shape? What exercises should you be doing? When should you be doing them? And how long will it take to reclaim your pre-pregnancy body?
If any of those thoughts are going through your head then just know that you’re not alone. In working with hundreds of new moms over the years, I learned that there is a lot of information out there (thanks to the internet!) that talks about post-pregnancy fitness. Unfortunately, a lot of this information is incomplete, and is sometimes just plain dangerous.
That’s why we created this Definitive Guide to Postpartum Exercise. It’s a summary of a course we teach to new moms that provides guidelines for safe exercise post-pregnancy. It’s broken down into three 6-week stages that will gently help your body heal, recover, and be re-introduced to exercise.
The most important thing to remember when following any exercise plan, especially for new moms who had a cesarean section or tough birth process, is to listen to your body. Some moms find that 6 weeks in the first stage isn’t long enough – that’s okay! Others heal quickly and can progress through the second stage in less than 6 weeks – great! I know it can be tempting to jump right back to where you left off before having your baby but the risk of injury is not worth it. Please take your time.
With that being said, hopefully you find this program to be helpful in regaining your body and getting back your fitness!
Dave Smith has been a personal trainer since 2001 and was recently named “Top Fitness Professional in Canada”. Dave offers free online fitness training at Make Your Body Work and also spends much of his time helping other personal trainers improve their training techniques and business success. Check out his free resources, videos, and fitness programs at makeyourbodywork.com.
Thanks so much for sharing this!! I’m currently taking a correspondence course on prenatal exercise guidelines, but was thinking to myself,”well, what the heck can I do afterwards?” I’ll def be referencing this post in the future! 🙂
I actually have been finding the postpartum fitness landscape harder to navigate than the prenatal. There is a lot of information out there but it is so varied and it is not always specific to a C-section, which is a whole new ballgame!
i’m not a new mom but these are great tips, and i’ll share this with my bff, who just had a baby also. i like how you emphasize to listen to your body — important at all times, but especially for new mommies!
The best advice is always to listen to your body and not to do too much too soon. You will know when you’re ready…a new mom has SO much going on that fitness is usually one thing she can do for herself 🙂 Great tips here for any new mama!
Thanks Allie! Definitely listening to your body is so important. I’ve found that the advice for the postnatal period is so varied and much more individualized than the prenatal period where there are certain rules (like no crunches after the first trimester) that really apply to everyone.
What a great post! Being a new mom has so many new challenges and mostly good ones. I totally agree that every person is different and listening to your body is the best way to see where you stand with recovery and getting back into working out. I found that by doing prenatal workout DVD’s or online workouts like Physique 57 helped me get back into working out. And keep in mind that even though you’re now in the post stages, that doing the prenatal exercises helps you ease back into working out and focuses on modifying certain poses to not over work your core, lower abdomen etc…
I hope things are going well for you and baby and that your enjoying motherhood =0)
Great tips, but I agree with Allie, you have to be ready mentally and physically to “get body back” after pregnancy. If I had to do it all over again, I’d spend more time enjoying baby than worrying about my weight. Also. Sleeping. 🙂
Totally agree. I’ve been doing 10-20 minutes of rehab exercises and walking and it has helped me feel so much better. It helps me remember my “normal” life and gives me a little break. It’s less about fitting into my jeans and more about helping myself get to a point where I feel strong again.
I have no doubt that you will be back in shape soon. Your new “best shape” might be slightly different but that is completely normal! I think that many mom athletes end up feeling stronger and in better shape after having a baby(s).
I am avoiding the phrase “getting my body back” because it’s not like it went anywhere when I was pregnant. Plus, there are some differences that may be irreversible (i.e. hips widening). That said, I am looking forward to getting my fitness level back. I’ve been doing my beloved Insanity dvd’s again and slowly easing into running. I’m keeping it low pressure – doing what I want, when I can.
I totally agree with you Jessica. For me, getting my body back really means getting back to a point where I can participate in all my pre-pregnancy activities like HIIT workouts, weight workouts, spinning, etc. That is really my focus!