#RealTalk – Post Pregnancy Fitness

Leggings & Sports Bra c/o Annee Matthew 

This post is probably one of the most real updates I have written in a while. Since giving birth, I cannot tell you how many people have commented on my appearance. The first few days after I came home from the hospital, the comments ranged from how tired I looked to the security guard in our building asking me when is the baby due. I politely told him the baby is already here – and he just stared at my stomach with a confused look. Honestly, I have stared at myself with that same look for weeks now! Baby Aadhav is almost 3 months old and I have started my postnatal fitness journey. This truly is a journey. While it may look on Instagram that I have “bounced back”, I can assure that is not the case. Honestly, I’ve been shocked at how difficult it is to get back to working out. There are so many challenges from finding time to actually workout to learning my stamina is about 10% of what it used to be. These past few months, my focus has been on making sure Baby Aadhav is healthy and happy. While that seems like a normal thing, breast feeding and pumping run my life. I’m still about 17 pounds over my normal weight. Almost none of my pre-baby clothes fit and with a baby, there isn’t a budget for a whole new wardrobe. While I am trying to eat healthy, I also have to be careful that I have enough calories to feed my growing boy. Now the new normal is to workout, even if it’s a quick 5 minute walk or 30 min YouTube video. I also try to eat healthy but eat a lot more calories since I am eating for two.  The main area I am trying to tone up is my abs. I have a lot of extra fat around there that I hope will go down by continuing to breastfeed, workout when I can, and eat a diet healthy for a nursing mom. I’ll be sharing more of my journey, workouts, and meal plans with you on the blog – stay tuned!

Note: Please consult your Doctor before beginning exercise post pregnancy. If you are pregnant – check out my prenatal fitness routine here

#RealTalk – Post Pregnancy Fitness 

  • Baby First : When you become a Mom, you truly understand what it means to put your baby first. While everyone would love to”bounce back”, I really don’t think that’s even possible. Life now is about finding our new normal, not trying to get it back to the way it was. For instance, you know I love HIIT, Bootcamp, and Tabata type high-intensity workouts. After pregnancy, these are not possible. If you are breastfeeding, you have to find a pace and workout that allows you to maintain your milk supply while trying to get to a healthy weight after pregnancy.
  • Healing: Your body has just gone through so much. You have just delivered a human into this world! Your body has to heal. It’s almost 3 months since Aadhav was born and I still cannot do a sit-up. Healing your body takes time and you don’t want to rush it. If you do, you risk injuring yourself and not being able to take care of your baby.
  • My Body: After giving birth, I knew my body would never be the same. My body had done such a miraculous thing – how could I expect it to go back to the way it was? And it hasn’t. After giving birth, I was about 30 pounds over my normal weight. Now at 10 weeks post delivery, I am about 20 pounds over my normal weight. While I don’t focus on the scale, I do want to be healthy. Also most of the weight is in my stomach, which is common after pregnancy.
  • The Feeding Schedule: Gone are the days when you find a spare hour in your already busy schedule and workout. If you are breast feeding, you have to find time to workout based on when you feed. You have to time your day just right to feed, burp, and then hit the gym – because working out with your breasts full of milk is not fun!
  • Eating: Even after pregnancy, you are still eating for two. While I want to go back to my low carb salads and quinoa, I have to remember to eat enough calories for two. Also – I want to eat foods that are good for the baby so I eat more (good) fatty foods and a lot more carbs.
  • Workout Support: Now that I have a little one, I have to make sure he is taken care of when I am working out. This was a lot easier when my mom was here helping take care of Baby Aadhav. When my husband is home (he travels a lot for work), we take turns watching the baby so the other person can exercise.
  • Workout! After getting cleared to workout at 6 weeks post delivery, I began my post natal fitness journey. My OB and Pediatrician warned me that working out too much or too intense could impact my milk supply so I was prepared to workout at a moderate pace and gradually started to build up my strength and stamina. As always, I try to workout about 4 times a week.
    • 6-weeks post delivery: While I love taking classes, it’s a lot easier to workout in my condo gym (and more affordable). I really enjoyed the Body Fit By Amy YouTube Prenatal workout routines. I used the Postnatal videos for about 4 weeks after I started working out. The videos are low impact, motivating, and I love that Amy recorded the workouts after giving birth so the pace and style is very relatable.
    • 10-weeks post delivery: Now I am trying to increase the intensity of my workouts while still making sure I don’t over do it. I have started doing HIIT workouts but always do the “moderate” version of each exercise and make sure I don’t push myself too much. For instance, I still can’t do sit-ups so I do crunches and I make sure my heart rate does not go up too high.
    • 12-weeks post delivery: As I get closer to 12-weeks, I am trying to slowly increase the intensity of my workouts. I am also adding in weights to build my strength back up. The areas I am focusing on most are my abs and triceps. Holding the baby, you work your biceps a lot so working your triceps feels so good to counter balance all that carrying and rocking.
  • #MomTribe: Would love to hear any postnatal workout tips from you in the comments below!
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Comments

  1. Amen to all of your points! Followed most of them, especially that of pacing myself and having workout support. Makes all the difference.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’m in the final stages of my pregnancy and I needed a plan for after delivery.
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  3. These are such great tips compiled in a single informative read. I am sure this will help moms, will share with new mom I know

  4. 20 months and still haven’t gotten back to my workout :( Kudos to you!

  5. Salute your determination to be fit along with a clear focus on being healthy and priority no 1–baby.
    Good motivation for many!

  6. Being healthy is important. I am not a work-out person, but I do believe in being healthy and after delivery I did continue my walks and climbed up the stairs regularly.
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  7. Rashmi says:

    This is such a realistic post on postnatal care.. would share it with my new mommy friends

  8. One really does not need to hurry to get back in shape. You are bang on about the timelines and your work out recommendations.
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  9. some really great tips i wish I had come across something like this during my post partum days ..will surely share this with my friends who are int his stage or would be
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  10. These are really useful tips…will share wit frens in this stage…

  11. Very inspirational post. Your tips are very useful for all new moms who are trying to bounce back.
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