Hello, my name is Rui Shan and I’m from Gooberr! The amazing women behind FITTA reached out to us on a collaboration and we’re so excited! They gave us free rein to write a guest post, so here we are. I want to start off by saying that because birthing experiences vary widely – surgical c-section, vaginal with or without complications, quick or long, YOUR body has undergone a crazy transformation since 40 weeks to expel a baby. When considering returning to exercise postpartum, it’s not unreasonable to expect the same amount of time to heal and repair, so always seek advise from your doctor who has followed you through your journey and is most familiar with your unique experience.
Once your doctor gives you the green light to start exercising again postpartum, it’s important to be realistic and patient with getting fit again. Nowadays, there is an obsession with getting back to your pre-pregnancy weight or body. Don’t go comparing yourself to the Duchess of Cambridge 3 days postpartum! We’re not all genetically blessed and EVERY single one of us is unique. Every mom enters, goes through and finishes pregnancy with different experiences – there is no One Size Fits All when it comes to your return to fitness. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, cut yourself some slack and give yourself some LOVE. Fact is, as women our bodies will forever be changed by this amazing process of giving life. Stretch marks, looser skin and all, it is a beautiful testament of what you have achieved.
It is important to note that this post intends only to provide some information, not to give medical advice, please always defer to your doctor for instructions, information or advise unique to you! Ask your doctor about diastasis recti before doing abdominal work.
Soo…When to start exercising again after birth?
Rewire your brains’ take on societal expectations in exercising to lose weight and watching the scale but rather, exercise postpartum to give yourself that boost of energy, prevent postpartum depression, relieve stress and have a better nights’ sleep – for a healthier, stronger you.
We previously shared on Gooberr that, breastfeeding is a great way to kick start your journey in feeling more like your old self again as you’re burning loads of calories producing breastmilk for your baby! As a nursing mother, your body needs 500 more calories a day on average, (actual amount depending on how much milk you’re producing) so eat enough and eat healthfully. If you’re looking for a healthy way to supplement your diet to try and support or boost your milk supply, Gooberr’s Boobkies are a great way to go! Gooberr Boobkies are baked to order with superfood ingredients like oats, milled flaxseed and brewers yeast for good nutrition without the preservatives, artificial additives or flavorings like vanilla extract. The presence of these natural galactagogues gives your body the right building blocks to help produce thicker, more nutritious milk for your bub! If you’re looking for a zero calorie option, our range of boob juice (lactation teas) are also a good option as they’re caffeine free and can help with increasing your fluid intake!
During the first two weeks postpartum while your milk supply is still stabilizing, try taking a short 5-minute leisurely walk and see how you feel. If nothing bleeds, pulls, or aches, take a 6-minute walk the next day and a 7-minute walk the following day. The key is to start gradually and gently, even if you were used to high intensity impact exercises and had good fitness before birth. You can also then try to incorporate some pelvic floor exercises aka the famous Kegel Exercise!
For your foray back into fitness, we recommend the Inspire High-Rise Leggings from FITTA Active to help you hold in bits of yourself you’re still uncomfy with. The high rise band acts like a corset to hold you in! We also recommend pairing this with their Empower Wrap Bra, they’re breathable and stretchy so your sore boobies won’t feel too hindered, while the sturdy under bust band gives you the support you need!
After you’ve ventured out a few times and feel comfortable/confident enough about yourself and can take at least a 20 minute walk comfortably, you can then start including your baby in your walks for some mommy-baby bonding time preferably with a stroller rather than a frontpack. This way you have the added advantage of working your arm muscles at the same time, make sure to add some gentle upper-body stretching. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists suggests to “get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week.”
Besides light walking, some other gentle exercises to consider are, cross trainer, stationary bike or swimming – depending on how you’re feeling down there of course! Some other exercises to add to your repertoire over time would be gentle abdominal exercises such as pelvic tilting or knee rolls (proceed with caution if c-section/diastasis recti) as well as resistance exercises using your own body weight such as squats without additional weights to gain strength over time. Jumping straight back into pre-baby exercise routines are a big no no!
At the end of the day, it is important to remember to listen to your body and avoid over exertion. Remember, your body is still healing so start slowly before gradually building up strength to more advanced exercises. If you are unsure of an exercise or how to progress, consult with a physiotherapist or a fitness professional trained in postnatal rehabilitation.