Despite my motivation during pregnancy to get fit again and find my ‘yummy mummy’ body post-birth, I’m still not there! The experience has been SO different to what I expected. The things that came as a surprise will no doubt give mums a giggle at my ignorance, but hopefully also help new mums be kinder to themselves, knowing they aren’t alone. I also want to provide women with a realistic picture of what they might expect in regards to exercise after giving birth because no matter how motivated you are to get your fitness and body back fast, with a baby, things often don’t go to plan. I also want to share a few things I’m finding helpful as I build up my fitness again, along with my current short-term goals.
The surprises around fitness post birth:
- I actually thought I would be running after 2 weeks post birth because I thought I was more motivated and robust than most. I thought doctors were exaggerating when they said 6 weeks recovery until you can do you anything – turns out they weren’t. It took me 10 weeks to begin anything semi-regular and even then the impact had to be relatively low to protect my pelvic floor and uterus.
- Who knew that 12 weeks post-birth I would still be weeing my pants on a run? Why does no-one talk seriously during pregnancy about pelvic floor care?
- Babies will often wake after one sleep cycle (that’s 15-20 minutes) so say goodbye to exercising in one hour blocks if you’re on your own during the day.
- Babies need to be fed, cooed to, changed, settled – practically all the time.
- Babies usually won’t just sit in a pram/bouncer/play mat while you do a workout (regardless of whether the workout incorporates the pram), they often want to be cuddled.
- Babies aren’t always settled when you take them for a walk.
- I LOVE breastfeeding and baby carriers, but they are ruining my back and hips .
- There’s hardly any time for meal prep and even when there is a spare moment, you’re too exhausted from living on 4-5 hours sleep for months to do anything about it.
- The difference between expectations and reality can take a real toll on your mental health.
The list could go on and on but there’s enough for new mums to know you’re not alone!
Things I’ve found helpful as I regain my fitness:
- Voome – I’m trialing this fitness and nutrition program to help get me back on track. It’s designed by the same experts that created Michelle Bridges’ 12WBT as a challenge for those who already have a grasp on their fitness and nutrition, but need some extra support in maintaining it.
- I’m aiming for shorter workouts at home, 10-20 minutes at a time seems to be what works best. I’m really enjoying the strength, cardio and stretch workout videos from Voome. It’s like going to a gym class but at home! If you want to see what they’re like you can check out Voome here.
- Using Voome’s pre-set meal planners – this has been great for:
- 1) not having to think about what nutrients/meals I’m having;
- 2) being able to give Reis a shopping list for the week knowing I won’t forget anything if I send him to the shops;
- 3) knowing dietitians have written the plan so I know I am getting all the nutrition I need whilst breast feeding; and
- 4) there’s a good variety of foods to choose from.
- Keeping a food diary on paper that’s updated regularly throughout the day – you can subscribe to EPW and get a FREE copy of the daily planner I use here.
- Pulling back on my daily outings so I have more time to look after my health (eg. meal prep, exercise and sleep/relaxation).
- Practicing being content how my body is now and being thankful I have a body that can move and sustain another’s life!
- Refocusing on what’s important.
- Having snacks on hand (like fruit and nuts) that require no preparation.
- Support from health practitioners and family.
My Short Term Health Goals
- Eat more fruit for snacks instead of biscuits or spoonfuls of peanut butter;
- Drink more water;
- Do my pelvic floor, transverse abdominal and core stability exercises daily (I’m working with physio on these to help me safely get back to 10km runs);
- Run every second day for 20 minutes;
- Do three strength workouts per week;
- Don’t compare myself to others; and
- Practice finding value in who God says I am in Christ – his loved, cared for and saved child that can find rest in his grace.
This post is sponsored by Voome, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
You may also like :
Latest posts by Amy Darcy (see all)
- How to Choose a Quality Rosehip Oil - June 19, 2019
- Potato Rose Spiced Shepherds Pie with Vegan Option - June 13, 2019
- Simple & Healthy Banana Bread (Low FODMAP, gluten & dairy free) - May 10, 2019