I have had several people ask me about my fitness and workouts post baby.
Exercise was mostly a no go during pregnancy. I was not physically able to work out for the most part, nor was I eating enough to sustain working out. After delivery, it took me about two weeks to get my appetite back. After it did, I was ravenous! I think I was making up for the past 9 months!
I took it very easy when I started working out again, and I didn’t start until about 7/8 weeks post pardum. In the beginning, I took beginner barre classes, walked, and just played with my kiddos. I also taught a 5 week Mommy + Me barre class at the studio I teach at. It was really fun to have my little girl there with me in class!
(Look how little!!!)
I was very careful not to over do anything, because I didn’t want to mess up my milk supply. As I was able to get stronger and more confident in my body, I added jogging and some barre cardio classes.
I make sure to really listen to my body and take extra rest days. I wasn’t comfortable in my post baby body, mostly because of comparison from what you see on social media. However, it wasn’t long before I started to realize that something wasn’t “right”. I talked to my doctor and explained how I still looked and felt very pregnant. It turned out that I had diastasis recti. It is a separation of your abdominal muscles.
My doctor referred me to a physical therapist that specializes in women’s health. I loved her! I was diagnosed with a 4 finger spread and a moderately deep separation. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but so glad to have a path forward.
After I was diagnosed, I didn’t workout at all except for my physical therapy. We didn’t want anything to cause it not to heal, and I didn’t have the core strength to be doing it anyway. As I learned in PT, you don’t want to let that go, because you don’t want pelvic floor issues later…. if you know what I mean!
I did physical therapy for around 10-12 weeks. It was a long process, and I didn’t have to go every week. There was 3 different phases I went through and I could tell a huge difference in my strength! When I was finished, my separation was 2 finger widths and mild/moderate depth. It may never be 100% again, but it is so much better than it was. I still wear a binder to help the soft tissue to heal.
I’m now 8 months post pardum. I do barre workouts and cardio as long as I can hold my core connection. I jog with the kids in the stroller, go for walks, and I am teaching a barre beginner class. The main thing I focus on is just being healthy. I don’t want my milk supply to drop, so I make sure to refuel post workouts. I also make sure not to go fast or push myself too hard where I lose my core connection.
This is just what works for me. Healing my diastasis recti and fueling my body to feed my baby are my first priorities. I’m not trying to break any records or set any PRs right now. I have plenty of time to “push myself” later!
Remember, every woman’s body is different and each pregnancy is different. I have friends that exercised all the way through pregnancy, and then there are women like me that couldn’t. Some women bounce right back post delivery, yet some take time. No matter where you are, be patient and give yourself grace. Your body performed a miracle by growing a baby! Nourish yourself well and take care of yourself. The habits you set today are the habits your little one will learn in the future!
Of course, always check with your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet or new exercise, especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
What is your workout jam right now?
Any other barre lovers?