Tabloids began in 1900 when Joseph Pulitzer entertained Alfred Harmsworth’s desire to edit a newspaper. Harmsworth imagined a smaller paper into life that slightly exaggerated the truth, beginning a long line of celebrity-chasing, magnified legacy. One of the hottest spotlights focuses on famous moms after birth, and how fast they return to their famously beautiful bodies after baby arrives.
Most of these moms employ a nanny to help return to their workout routines early, but that does not mean that everyday moms have to have the same extra help. Returning to the pre-baby workout, and body, only requires patience, realistic goals, and a smart monitoring of signs from the body.
Move Slowly and Monitor Signs from the Body
Even the most fit moms need to ease back into the workout routine. Do not pick up a new workout routine for two weeks after birth; wait until after the first post-op checkup after a C-section. Consult with the doctor, and ask about taking a painkiller, such as ibuprofen, to help with possible uterine pain. Remember that the uterus is still healing for weeks after birth. Consider going for short walks, building up to longer walks, as long as the walk feels good.
The body communicates through pain, so if walking gets uncomfortable, slow down. Monitor bleeding as well; some new moms find that bleeding that has tapered picks up again after exercise. If this is the case, pull back the workout for a few more weeks. Consider a specialized postpartum workout after the walks become comfortable, which focus on the specific workout needs of new moms. Make sure to stay hydrated, and rest when it feels necessary. It is not the time to push the limits, as the body is healing, and the household is adjusting to the new family dynamics.
Be Realistic and Patient
It’s important to remember to go slow and monitor body signals as well as maintain patience with realistic goals. Remember that the body needs extra calories, up to 500 a day, when breastfeeding. Many women who include a postpartum workout in their return to their old body use some of the best bottles on the market to either pump breastmilk or formula feed babies. If breastfeeding, it’s best to wait until the milk supply is fully established before fully returning to a routine. Continue to evaluate the pelvic floor, as well, remembering that too much pressure, such as ab work, can slow the healing process.
Practice kegel exercises to restrengthen this area, and ask the doctor to check for rectus abdominals. This is a condition where the abdominal muscles separate, and must heal before a full exercise routine is incorporated into the daily routine. In addition to a weakened pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, the joints are also weakened from birth. They must soften during birth, and may take up to six months to self-repair. Be patient during the healing process and slow down when the body sends signals. Use these signals to set realistic workout goals, and to adjust goals as needed.
Give Yourself Permission
Make sure to give yourself permission to take it easy when necessary. You don’t have a nanny, and if you do, you don’t have Hollywood-level personal trainers. Listen to the body, cut back when necessary, and rest when necessary. Getting back to a workout routine will happen, but on a personally adjusted schedule. No two moms will have the same return to routine postpartum. Remember to care for your mental, physical, and spiritual health to prepare yourself for the daily needs of the little one who needs you more than anyone.