Postpartum Workouts? Hardy Har Har.

baby sleeping

Oh, they look cute. But they steal all of your sleep. Credit: peasap

After months of being physically limited by pregnancy, I was sure that I’d want to jump right back onto the fitness wagon. Boy, did I underestimate the physical toll of having and taking care of a new baby!

Even though I may be out of shape, I have a new respect and awe for my body. It is mind boggling to me that I made and birthed a little human. And then everything snapped back to where it is supposed to be (for the most part). 

I’m not terribly concerned about getting rid of a little pudge or losing the 12 or so pounds I’ve got to lose. Although I must admit that it would be nice to fit back into all of my pre-pregnancy jeans (not just my bigger ones), I have admittedly taken it easy on myself. I wanted time to recover. I wanted time to just stare at my little bundle of joy. I wanted time to sleep. So I haven’t felt at all guilty about taking time off from my regular workouts. And I haven’t been totally lazy as you can see from my postpartum progression:

Day 1. After the little one arrived, all of my bones were sore and it was hard to stand fully upright, never mind walk the mile through the hospital to the NICU. I took advantage of my husband and the hospital wheelchair and hitched a ride there that first day. (C-section mamas especially need to remember to take it easy when getting back in action—it’s major abdominal surgery we’re talking about, so follow doctor’s orders when it comes to rest and exercise!).

Day 2. Even 12 hours postpartum my achy body was loosening up. I started my first exercise regimen: The long walk to the NICU. It was slow going, and I had to tell my hubby to slow the freak down a time or two, but it felt like an accomplishment. And a workout!

Day 3. My husband, thinking nothing of it, made me take the stairs. I did with no problem, saying that I’d be back in my pre-pregnancy jeans in no time.

Day 5. Feeling better by the day, I started walking a bit…to the drugstore or the post office—10-minute round trips.

Weeks 2-5. I’d walk to run errands, but the majority of my exercise came from heading up to the second floor to change diapers a million times a day or hauling laundry up and down the stairs. Also, lugging strollers and a car seat around are definitely keeping my arms working.

Week 6. After my postpartum doctor’s visit, I fit in my first exercise walk, which served a dual purpose of calming a crying baby and working up a sweat. I was surprised at my sore pelvis the next day, but my doctor was correct that the ligaments are still recovering from holding the weight of pregnancy and the process of giving birth.

Week 7. I continue walking and strollering and start thinking a little more seriously about increasing the intensity. Sleep deprivation wins, and I think “What’s one more week?”

Week 8. I mowed our very small yard, and my lungs were burning. I think that means I need to get back into the swing of things.

I’m definitely feeling the workout itch. I’m ready to get sweaty. I’m ready to feel that soreness from a good workout. I’m ready to get out into this beautiful fall weather and get my workout on. I’ll let you know how it goes! —Erin


Comments

  1. Katrina says

    I’m trying to exercise with this pregnancy to have a better post partum. But after my first c section I could barely stand upright for the first 2 days. You feel like all your guts are being ripped out. But once I started walking with wheel chair assistance up and down the halls it got me out of the hospital 1 day early.

  2. Alyssa says

    Good for you for listening to your body and giving yourself time to heal! There’s so much emphasis these days in “getting your body back after baby!” that we forget that pregnancy and childbirth, whether vaginal or C-section, take a heavy toll on the body. As my OG-GYN put it, “You basically ripped your body in half; it needs time to heal.” (Sorry for putting that image in your head, lol!)
    Newborns are completely dependent on us. We feed them every couple of hours, we get very little sleep, and we’re getting to know our babies. Anyone who thinks it’s easy can try walking in our bunny slippers for a week! Adding pressure to get rid of the weight quickly just doesn’t help.

  3. antigone says

    Erin:

    You have a HUGE blessing in that little baby!~ Don’t let the media’s images of “perfect” women get to you — even subconsciously. YOU are doing all the right things by keeping active and enjoying strollering time with your little one.

    Take it from me. I am an old lady whose boys are now leaving home. Savor that time. Stay active with your child. The time will come when you CAN devote time to more intense exercise, but right now, you have the best job of all — helping another soul to grow and develop!! Blessings!

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *