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Working out for the Postpartum Mama

Hi mama! Chances are you are reading this at some point in your journey to and through motherhood. Our journey really begins the moment we decide and then also find out that we are going to be a mom. The journey to motherhood is as unique as we are individuals, and I know that we all become moms in a variety of ways. The diversity, equity, and inclusion of #AllTheMoms is at the heart of FIT4MOM and one of my personal core values. However, we have to be honest and acknowledge & accept that there are differences that we need depending on how we became a mom.

Today I am going to talk to the mom who has birthed a child from her body. Again, there are several different ways to “give birth” and no one way is any better than another.

As beautiful as pregnancy and motherhood is, we have to be honest and tell it like it is – bringing a newborn into this world is a traumatic experience for our bodies – no matter how. Our body go through 9 months of growth and change during pregnancy. And then the birth process is a whole different ball game.

The first 6 weeks after childbirth are usually talked about as the fourth trimester – early postpartum. We do not believe that moms need to “bounce back” after pregnancy; in fact, research shows that our bodies may not go back to “normal” for up to two years after birth. What you are going through and how your body is responding to life post pregnancy give you some insight into what you are capable of – mentally, physically, and emotionally. Take this time to truly listen to your body – honor and respect all that you have been through as you prepare a plan to move forward.

When it comes to working out as a postpartum mama, we have good news for you! The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ACOG, recommends exercise for the new mom, once you are cleared to perform by your doctor – which is typically between 6 – 8 weeks after childbirth.

5 reasons why you should exercise as a new mom:

  • It helps strengthen and increase abdominal strength and stability.
  • It boosts energy levels.
  • It promotes better sleep.
  • It relieves stress.
  • It may be useful in preventing postpartum depression.

I want to let you know, mama, that if you feeling a bit anxious to workout in this new season of life – you are not alone…. And it is totally okay to have #AllTheFeelings. I’ve been there myself – times 2. And after the birth of our youngest I experienced severe PMADs in the form of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety. At the time I didn’t know how beneficial it would be to have a supportive group of moms who were either going through the same thing, or who had already been through it. And that is why I am sharing this with you today… to hopefully help lessen the learning curve for you.

I hope you know that FIT4MOM and all the franchise locations are here for you! FIT4MOM is the nations leading pre-and-postnatal fitness program and community for all ages and stages of motherhood. All of our workouts are designed by moms for moms and lead by FIT4MOM certified instructors. We lead with empathy and compassion to support you where you are at in this moment and lead you to where you want to go.

Returning or starting to working out as a postpartum mom with FIT4MOM will look like:

  • Continued support during the first six weeks following birth, including predictable issues she faces and safe exercises to perform to help with abdominal reconditioning.
  • Assessment of the fitness needs as you progress through the postpartum stages. From your physician’s clearance date through the first year, at minimum, appropriate progressions should be applied, and the guidelines of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) followed for exercise and critical issues specific to the new mom.
  • Design and implement a practical plan for increasing overall strength and improving joint stability, as well as addressing specific muscle imbalances through a sustainable fitness plan.

Now is a time of great change, and our biggest hope for you is that you have the space and time to enjoy it. Yes, you will experience sleep deprivation and fatigue, yes your schedule will change, and yes what you can do now is going to look different than what you could do before. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot do anything. In fact – motherhood is a great reminder of how strong and amazing you are!

Your return to movement may be slow – that is both okay and expected. Release any judgment that you may be feeling. Focus on the overall health and wellbeing – for both you and your little one. And don’t forget to remember to practice self-compassion. Everything you do counts! Short, simple, small movements – it all counts!

You are going to do fantastic mama. And when you are ready – we are here to welcome you with open arms!

I look forward to meeting you and hearing about your journey to motherhood soon!

With Love,

Kyria’

Owner & Instructor – FIT4MOM Holland