This is me at 8 weeks postpartum vs 38.5 weeks pregnant
When I got cleared at 6 weeks from my OB/GYN with my first it, getting those first return-to-workouts in was really easy.
I took regular walks with Finn in the stroller and would stop along various benches and do band workouts. We spent many hours at home doing tummy time while I did my kettlebell circuits. I could put on an hour-long Yoga dvd during nap time or sleep while he slept so I had more energy.
This time, it’s different.
My newborn is forced to follow along with my toddlers schedule, which barely allows her and I time to bond and play together. My kids refuse to nap at the same time so instead of sneaking away to the gym when my husband comes home from work, I’ve got to do all of the things that I can’t accomplish during the day.
Honestly, we just haven’t found our rhythm yet. With the holidays approaching and visitors planned to stay with us, it’s probably not going to happen for a while, either. I'm still wrapping my head around the fact that I have TWO babies now! I'm not going to lie- it's so fun but it is SO much work and there have been some days that I feel like the worst mom in the world while I'm balancing these two cuties.
So here is my plan.
I JUST MOVE.
Maybe that means toddler-led walks around the park, lunges with the newborn, doing squats while I push toddler on the swings, or parking far away at the Zoo.
The nice thing with having a toddler is that they need to get their energy out. So that likely means you've got to go with them. Finding little extra pockets of movement throughout the day keeps me active, even when I reeeaallly don't feel like it.
Meaning, I don't beat myself up if I skip a day or the workouts I sneak in aren't as hardcore as they used to be. Like I shared on my instagram, it's completely unfair that after birthing a child women are supposed to feel back to normal. It takes a lot of effing time. There are studies out there that indicate it can take over a year to recover from childbirth, regardless of which type.
Taking shortcuts or going "too hard, too soon" is a bad, bad, bad idea. I can't tell you how many clients have come to me with chronic pelvic floor problems because they started running too early, or lifting too much, or just putting too much strain on their healing bodies.
So, I'm taking it easy. I started with bodyweight squats, reduced the range of motion on my lunges, and did a ton of breathwork. I'm still only doing breathing exercises for my core, and I won't be doing planks for a long, long time. My abs don't feel like they're really "connecting" yet, so why would I ask them to do intense workouts?
As frustrating as it can feel, I promise you that taking it easy works in the long run.
Consider postpartum like recovering from an injury. As much as you may want to run on a twisted ankle to get some miles in, that could lead to 3 months of PT and no running whatsoever. Same goes for the postpartum workouts. If we push too much it can lead to diastasis recti, pelvic organ prolapse, and urinary stress incontinence.
Those are my tips for early postpartum workouts when time is a luxury you don't have.