Postpartum Training and Nutrition
For those of you getting ready to have a baby and/or those of you who had a baby in the past year or so, this blog is for you! If you have no intensions of having a baby or you are squeamish then please X out before I make you uncomfortable 🙂
This topic came by request and I am happy to share my thoughts here as I am a mom of (almost) Irish twins and trained right up until the day of delivery and the same day I was cleared by my doctor postpartum!
Let’s talk about training first…
Training feels different after having a baby, doesn’t it? Your doctor will generally clear you to train 6-8 weeks after having a baby. If you have ever returned to training that quickly after having a baby, then you are about to nod your head to everything I write about today. If you are getting ready to have a baby, then here are some things that will be different (at least for a little while) when you return.
- Core work. Planks, push-ups, mountain climbers, in and outs…all of those exercises are going to feel very different for the first few weeks. It can take your body up to a year to recover after delivery so these exercises may cause some strange and sharp pulls in the lower abdomen. Modification is recommended as you may feel a quick and sharp pain. That is a sign that you need to back off and let your body continue to recover.
- Jumping. Yes, the rumors are true. Jump rope, wide-outs, ladders, squat jumps, etc will never be the same. It is not a coincidence that you see a bunch of ladies scurry to the restroom after jumping jacks. Bladder control is compromised after delivery.
In my personal experience, these things have improved with consistent training and proper modifications. If you experienced a more traumatic delivery, there may be repercussions which will mean more extreme modifications. In my coaching experience, I have had students with severe hip displacement as well as lingering back issues which have required modification for over 2 years. The point is that when your doctor clears you to train, it is not advised to dive into the performance level on the board for all of the exercises. I know you are motivated to drop the extra weight and tighten back up, but you need to remind your body what it feels like to train especially after baby put your body through the ringer.
Training while pregnant - yes! If you have been training, then it is highly recommended that you stay after it. Here’s my personal 2 cents…I absolutely do not want to know what labor and delivery feels like as an unfit person. That is a serious and powerful workout. Imagine how much “easier” you will make it on yourself if you are STRONG!
Postpartum nutrition is up next. You just had a baby. The past 9 months you have been caving into cravings (or maybe you haven’t) and your body is a little more “jiggly” than it was before. You are determined to get this weight off and tighten back up. Postpartum nutrition should be no different than our nutrition program geared toward fat loss. Just eat real food! This is a safe way to eat all the time. It is healthy for nursing mom’s and babies and non-nursing mom’s and babies. If you want to drop fat, then drop the processed nonsense and just eat real food. The rules don’t change when it comes to nutrition and fat loss.
I hope this helps answer some questions about how you may be feeling post-baby and for those of you wondering what happens once baby comes. We are here to help along the way!