Your post natal workout questions, answered

_be_8083_edited_web-rebecca-editedHI! I’m Rebecca and I am the gal behind Be Naturally Fit. I live in Vancouver with my husband and two daughters and I love to go hiking, cook up delicious vegan food and travel with my family. I am a health and fitness coach who is passionate about helping women be body-positive and to elevate and transform their lifestyles.

I lead classes at Barre Fitness, train small groups, and educate and encourage women through FIT CLUB, my online fitness and health program. I believe that women will find their strength and regain their best health through exercise, nutrition, and mindfulness. Most of my clients are new or expecting moms and I love helping them focus on getting active and strong in both body and mind during and after their pregnancies.

Is there a general time I should wait after having my baby before starting to work out again?

Healing after childbirth is different for every mom and it depends on how your delivery went. It’s important to rest and recover first before you worry about getting back to your favourite fitness class. We need to respect this phase and understand that our bodies go through massive changes and stress throughout Mother teaching her baby daughter to swim in an indoor pool at a health clubpregnancy, labour, birth, and the early stages of postpartum.

Before you jump back into a class you should rehab your pelvic floor. In most cases you can start healing your core with pelvic floor exercises almost immediately after birth. Start with Kegels and breathing exercises until the six-week checkup and go from there.

Once you are ready to start exercising again, don’t jump back into your old activities full force. Start slow and respect your new body. Start with some slow walks, light strength training (paying attention to alignment and form) or even some mommy and baby yoga.

My clients know that a good workout is one that you manage to pull off in between diaper changes, feedings, and naps. This is the focus of FIT CLUB, my online fitness program. All the workouts are done at home with little or no equipment and they’re only 15 minutes long.

Commonly asked questions (and misconceptions) I hear from pre and postnatal moms are:

How quickly can I get my pre-baby stomach back?

I get this question ALL THE TIME! And no one ever likes the hard truth: the answer is “probably never.” But another truth is that you can still have a nice flat six-pack stomach, it just won’t be the same as your pre-baby stomach.

Mother , daughter and golden retriever out running.I want to lose the baby weight. How can I do that quickly?

Another popular question to which I say “what’s the rush?” Focusing on weight loss can lead to an unhealthy mindset and unhealthy post-natal practices like dieting or over-exercising. Instead, eat a healthy well-balanced diet packed with veggies, protein and healthy fats and don’t worry about the number on the scale.

What are some ways to work out when I have limited time in between feedings and naps (mine and the baby’s!)?

It’s difficult to get back into exercising when you lack both time and energy, but once your pelvic floor has healed and you have the okay from your doctor, try these activities to get yourself moving again:

  1. Pushing the stroller or carrying your baby for a gentle walk will do wonders for both your physical health and your mental health. Plus the baby will love it!
  2. Look for a mommy and baby aquafit class (I taught one after I had my second baby) or, if you can, leave the baby behind and do some gentle laps.
  3. Join FIT CLUB, my online workout program. You’ll get access to fun, effective workout videos that you can follow at home—while the baby naps. It only takes 15 minutes a day to start building back your strength and creating a fitness habit. In FIT CLUB we cover efficient exercise, proper plant-based nutrition and mindfulness practice for stress management. Members find they have more energy, better body confidence and are living a more mindful life. 

 

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