Post Pregnancy Workout Series: Week 1-6

by Freydis
Post Pregnancy Workout Series: Week 1-6

You’ve been through a lot! So for the first weeks, you must take things slow. You probably have enough on your plate with your little one, day and night, so you need to come to terms with, accept and respect that you’re only human, and you can’t do it all.

Still, there are a few things you can start doing for yourself.

I have developed a Post Pregnancy Workout Series that you can follow for your babies first year. In these series, I offer general advice on what you can do for your post-pregnant body to get into shape. The series is divided into five parts, that progress in intensity gradually throughout the year. Please note, that these are merely suggestions, based on general advice. You should always listen to and follow your own body – if it doesn’t feel right, then it most likely is not right for you.

Get plenty of sleep and de-stress

Your body needs a lot of rest after the strain of childbirth. So, and I know you’ve probably heard this before, try and sleep when your baby sleeps. Easier said than done, I know. But your sleep is extremely important and it can determine how you feel and react. If you are breastfeeding, getting some shuteye also benefits your milk production

Eat healthily

Aim for small meals more often throughout the day, with lots of fruits and veggies.

If you are breastfeeding, it is extra important to eat healthily. Make sure you are getting plenty of different kinds of fatty acids by taking a good quality omega 3 supplement and eating different kinds of seeds and nuts, avocado, coconut oil and organic butter, preferably from grass-fed cattle. If you prefer getting your omega 3 from eating fish, like salmon, make sure that it’s not bred, but wild-caught salmon, and that it’s caught in pure waters, nowhere near where factories lead their waste.

Breastfeed – if you can

Other than the numerous benefits breastfeeding has for your baby, it will also help your uterus to reach pre-pregnancy size faster.

Breastfeeding can be a struggle and if it’s causing you either pain, heartache or stress, I urge you to get help from a breastfeeding counsellor or some sort of an expert on the area. If that doesn’t help, then try not to feel defeated, breastfeeding is not for everybody – far from it. And remember that a good mom is not dependent on what kind of milk you give your baby. A good mom is someone who loves and takes care of herself and her family.

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water! Keep water at your nursing stations, so you can reach out for it while nursing. I love having warm water with lemon upon waking and it’s an excellent way to rehydrate after a long night. If you’re a tea-drinker and are breastfeeding, please note that there are some herbs you should avoid. Go for special nursing teas, as they contain herbs that can benefit the milk production and are said to be good for upset baby tummies.

Bodywork and exercising

Exercising can help you recover after childbirth. If you’ve had any complications or a cesarean, please ask your healthcare practitioner, before you start doing any exercise.

So long as you have the energy for it and gave birth vaginally, here are some exercises you can start doing as soon as you feel ready:

  • Pelvic floor exercises – every day!
  • Stretch your neck, back, shoulders and chest muscles, as they tend to get tight from nursing and holding your baby.
  • Start contracting the core muscles. This can be done anytime, anywhere, simply by pulling your navel and your lower ribs towards the spine and holding it there for a few seconds.
  • If you can, take 30-minute walks, two times a week. Start with just a few minutes walks around the bed, and work your way up to the 30 minutes outside.

PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES

Kegel exercises

Start Position: Lie on your back with your knees up and feet on the floor/bed

  1. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles – like you want to prevent yourself from peeing (and from expelling gas)
  2. Hold for 5 seconds
  3. Relax for 5 seconds
  4. Repeat 5 times

Pelvic tilts

Start Position: Lie on your back with your knees up and feet on the floor/bed

  1. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles and push your feet down while lifting your hips and squeezing your glutes
  2. Hold the lift and squeeze for 3 seconds, before lowering your hips to the floor/bed
  3. If you can, repeat this lift and 3-second squeeze 10 times
  4. Relax for 1 minute
  5. Repeat two more times

CORE MUSCLE CONTRACTIONS

Abdominal contractions

Start position: On all fours, with hands stacked under the shoulders and knees stacked under the hips

  1. Pull your navel and ribcage towards your spine, like you want to button a really tight shirt
  2. Hold for 10 seconds – start with 5 and work your way up to 10
  3. Relax the muscles for 10 seconds
  4. Repeat 10 times

Lower abdominal contractions

Start position: Sit on a chair with both feet on the floor

  1. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles and gently lift one foot off the floor
  2. Hold for 5 seconds before lowering the foot again
  3. Do 5 times for each leg, alternating

As a mom to a newborn, the most important thing you can do is to be there for your little one! And remember, when you feel good and rested, you’ll feel more energized, resulting in more happy moments with your precious little bundle of joy.

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