postpartum exercise

Having a baby is one of the most amazing and awe-inspiring things a woman’s body can do.

We go through 40 weeks of pregnancy, and then hours of labor and delivery in order to bring our babies into the world. Our bodies go through a 10 month marathon and deserve medals for the work they do during this process.

I hear so many references to women wanting to get back to their “pre-baby body” after giving birth.

From personal experience, I can confidently tell you that after having a baby, our bodies will never be the same.

We will never get back to our “pre-baby” body.

How can we after being stretched and poked and prodded and pushed??

We will be BETTER, my friends.

postpartum exercise
6 months post-baby

It’s time we all agree and acknowledge that we can actually have improved bodies after having our babies!

When I had my baby in 2013, I thought I was ready to jump right back in to my workout routine. As a physical therapist and Pilates instructor, I had seen numerous prenatal and postpartum clients over the years. I thought I knew what they had experienced and how their bodies responded. I thought I knew myself and my own body.

I thought my workout life would be the same.

I was WRONG.

The first thing I noticed was how weak my abdominals were! I had been teaching Pilates for over 12 years, and suddenly I couldn’t do a roll-up to save my life. I listened to my body and took it slow and cheered out loud when I finally got my abs working again 5 months after giving birth.

If you are just getting back in to Pilates after having a baby, try this beginner workout after being released to exercise by your doctor!

I was also diagnosed with a bladder prolapse a few weeks after giving birth. In all my years in health care, I had never had experience with a prolapse and it was actually a pretty confusing and scary thing. I had to do my own research to learn what I could and couldn’t do and how it would affect my workouts. I’ve since learned it’s actually really common after birth!

Finally, I realized pretty quickly that the time I had to commit to workouts every day would be VERY different after having a baby. I had to say good-bye to my hour long gym sessions on the elliptical and figure out a way to squeeze in 30 minute workouts between nursing, emails and diaper changes.

So I put together a program that worked for me, my body and my family. I was a full-time mom who was also running a business from home, so I created 30 minute workouts I could do in the middle of baby nap time before jumping on my computer to answer emails.

Even though I was working out fewer minutes every day than before baby, my body was changing and I was getting stronger than I had ever been!

The key was that I was working out smarter and using the time I had efficiently. The hard thing was doing all of the research to figure out what I could do with my recent pregnancy and birth.

I created the Happy Hour Mama Membership to help solve problems like what I had! It helps people know exactly what workouts they can do with certain injuries and conditions, and gives people a day by day guide on home workouts that work.

When you’ve recently had a baby, you sometimes need something a little more specific for your needs.

This is where the Post-Baby Bod Plan comes in!

It was developed by my good friend Gina Harney, who is a personal trainer, weight loss specialist, fitness instructor and the creator of the popular health website and blog Fitnessista.

The Post-Baby Bod Plan is a 12 week postpartum exercise program that takes you through exactly what you need to be doing to safely gain strength and lose weight after having a baby. Gina gives you modifications and addresses issues such as rectus diastasis and prolapse. All workouts can be done at home – some even with your baby! This is huge during those first few months after baby when your schedule is dictated by your little one :).

I’ll be honest and tell you I don’t trust a lot of online workouts out there. While there are some that are fun or make you sweat, I don’t think they are usually thought out or come from trusted sources.

The Post-Baby Bod is one of the few I stand behind and recommend!

I was able to review the program before it was released and I was so impressed with both the structure of the plan as well as Gina’s thoughtfulness and honesty throughout. She not only acts as your personal trainer during the 12 week program, but truly talks to you as a friend and partner.

If you are looking for a safe and effective way to get back into exercise and fitness after having a baby, I would recommend starting with the Post-Baby Bod Plan (direct link to learn more and purchase).

Here are a few other resources to help get you back to exercise after having a baby!

Always remember that you brought life into this world. Your body, even when it felt it’s most broken, did a miraculous thing. Be kind to yourself and thank your body for what it’s done for you.

Then go have a kick butt workout :).

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