Once you know better you do better. When I was first starting off in the fitness industry I didn’t know enough about training the pregnant and postpartum population. I have learned SO much in the past few years and will only continue to provide the best information for this population of women. Here are my top 10 tips for Mamas in their first year postpartum. Pregnancy, birth and postpartum are NO JOKE and I want to support women and help them thrive during these special times. This is why I have created my first ever online community MAMAS IN LOVE w/ FITNESS.
Many new mama’s spend far too much energy worrying about “getting their body back” and “getting back into a workout routine” post-baby, instead of taking the time to help their bodies heal properly. I want you to FEEL AMAZING IN YOUR BODY…for a really long time. When we shift the focus off of quick fixes and simply enjoy being a mom, magic happens 🙂
Here are my Top 10 Tips to help you feel your best mama!
1.No matter how postpartum you are, I urge you see a pelvic floor PT. Everyone is so different and this is one of the times you really need individual help as a result of the issues pregnancy and birth can cause. Even if you “feel great” I urge you to set up an appointment.
Pregnancy and birth result in HUGE shifts in our bodies. Remember that “common is NOT NORMAL”. If you have any issues with leaking, elimination, sex, low back, hip, neck or pelvic pain…make an appointment with a pelvic floor physical therapist. These are two awesome options if you are in the Boston area.
2. Neutral breathing and connecting with your core and pelvic floor are SOOOO important to RE-ESTABLISH postpartum. You just went from having a baby on the inside to a baby on the outside…it takes time and effort on your part to get your breathing and core+ pelvic floor to function properly again. This may be considered BORING to some, but I assure you it is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing to do in the early postpartum period.
Below is another version I practice using the foam roller.
3. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. 100% of women in their third trimester will have some degree of diastasis recti, it is TOTALLY NORMAL. Your midwife, OB/GYN, and pelvic floor physical therapist should assess this at your 6 week check-up. Keep in mind it is not simply the separation we are concerned with, some women will always have a separation after having children.
Think of it more as the ability of the linea alba to generate tension when the core and floor breath is utilized.
Check out how to assess yourself below.
4. Pay attention to your posture throughout the day. I’m not asking you to be perfect, just be aware! The majority of the time the pain you are feeling in your body is the result of your posture/alignment and the way you perform day–to- day activities.
5. As a new mom, you’ll find yourself sitting A LOT. Whether that is sitting in your rocker, on your couch or in your car, give this Seated Alignment some practice.
Here it is being demonstrated with the squat and the deadlift as well.
7. Once your baby gets a little older, they will be able to sit and stand in their crib. When you lower the crib, the strain placed on your lower back increases. In order to safely get your baby out of the crib in the morning, place a step stool nearby so that you can hinge and use your legs, not your lower back.
8. Carrying, rocking, sitting, walking and nursing your baby can result in a lot of rounding in the upper back. Use this release to let go of the built up tension.
9. Having protein + veggie rich snacks on hand is super helpful, especially in the early postpartum period. Here are some of my personal easy-peasy favorite snacks:
Applegate Farms turkey with dijon mustard wrapped in boston lettuce leaves
Hardboiled eggs, mustard + pepper strips
Salsa, avocado + baby carrots
Egg Muffins with pork + cruciferous crunch
Greek yogurt + strawberries
Beef/Turkey Jerky + orange
Green Apple + slices of lite cheddar cheese
Cottage cheese + fruit/veggies
Greek yogurt, PB2, handful of trail mix or chocolate chips
10. WALKING is the best part of #momlife. It’s pretty much all you do in the first few months. Instead of rushing back to running, be thankful for all your body has done and practice appreciation for all the steps you get when you are pushing that stroller.
Please remember when you are breastfeeding, your hormones are the same as when you are pregnant (which means your joints are more lax). I don’t advise resuming your running routine until 6 months postpartum, and when you do get back to it I recommend performing interval hill sprints or interval stroller sprints. The forward lean required by both variations sets up the alignment for your core and pelvic floor to work optimally.
I hope you found this helpful!
P.S. Please feel free to share with your mom friends if you think that they might benefit!
If you are looking to safely return to exercise with the help of a professional please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.P.S Do you have any other pregnancy and postpartum questions for me? Ask away!
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