Right before and right after a new Fit2B Mama gives birth, it seems like everyone tells her to rest and to eat whatever she wants, but is that a healthy fitness standard? I’ve had two kids myself, and I remember the exhaustion and feeling like a perpetual food vacuum. However, I also remember wondering why mothers are told to avoid exercising for six weeks after delivery, but we’re really only given a couple days in the hospital, and then maybe a week with the mother-in-law and the hubby before we’re suddenly expected to carry around an 8 lb baby, do chores, make dinner, run errands, push a stroller in and out of the doctor’s office for several newborn checkups, all on just three hours of sleep!!!!
|Me between two Fit2B Mama Friends: One just had a baby. One is nearly ready to deliver.|
Women are strong! New moms are strong! Even if you’ve had a c-section or complicated pregnancy/delivery, you can still stake your claim on a healthy Fit2B Mama body right before and right after you have your baby. And here’s how!
1. Don’t let it all hang out -Your abs are tired and stretched beyond capacity, but you can practice pulling your navel back toward your spine and activating your transverse abdominus (TA). Keeping connected to your core before and after delivery is crucial to your ability to recover. If you’re still pregnant, imagine that pulsing your belly inward is hugging the baby. After the baby comes, avoid crunches and full planks and stick with side-lying exercises. If you can’t draw your navel inward without a huge amount of concentration, find a diastasis expert in your area. If you’ve had a c-section or other stitches, rehabilitating your TA can actually help those areas heal faster while flattening your belly too! Visit our Tummy Safe section to learn more!
2. Eat Healthy – Go ahead and eat when you feel hungry; you’re nourishing a life! Just make sure that the food you put in your mouth is organic or as close to the earth as possible. Consume at least five to seven fruits and vegetables each and every day and balance your protein and carbohydrates. Indulge your cravings, but do it in a healthy manner. Eating healthy is NOT as expensive as dealing with an unhealthy pregnancy, labor and delivery or higher doctor bills later when you get heart disease. So do yourself and your baby a favor…
3. Keep Going – Current exercise standards – as I learned them while getting a certification in prenatal fitness – state that pregnant women can keep doing whatever they did for six months prior to pregnancy. If you walked, keep walking. If you ran, keep running as long as you feel comfortable. If you lifted weights, keep pumping that iron. In my article “Are you Fit to Labor?” I encourage women to think about this before they conceive, to ask what they want to be able to do during and after pregnancy, and start doing those activities before they get pregnant.
4. Educate Yourself – Congratulate yourself on reading this article, but don’t stop here! Get a good grasp on nutrition, health and fitness so that you can be the best Fit2B Mama for your kids. Every mom and dad has those tough days with little time to think about feeding and exercising our kids, let alone ourselves! So it’s important to be prepared with healthy snacks in the diaper bag and passionate about planning trips to the park.
|Fit2B carrying three kids on my back. Tummy pulled in tight!|
Having a baby might be an excuse to take it easy, but it’s not an excuse to slack off entirely and turn into a beached whale. You need to be strong for labor, and you need to be strong enough to wrangle your newborn into a sling, nurse in awkward positions, get your babe in and out of the carseat, carry groceries, mop the floor, tackle your toddler before he runs into the street … How will you avoid hurting your back or widening your diastasis while doing all of those tasks and more if you’ve been a couch potato for weeks on end? Do what you can today, so you can do it tomorrow!