Postpartum Workout Series | Body After Baby
I am now one year into motherhood — (how does time pass so quickly?!) — and finally back into my normal workout routine. My postpartum workout journey was truly that — a journey — that required a lot of patience on my part to allow my body to heal and recharge. I remember feeling really eager to jump back into workouts as soon as my doctor gave me the green light, but I quickly learned I’d need to slowly ease back into the swing of things. My body itself actually healed quite quickly (which I’m really grateful for), but the exhaustion of new motherhood combined with my sensitivity to milk production pushed me to take things slowly.
I’ve chatted closely with so many of you over the past year, about your own wellness journeys after welcoming a baby. I think what’s most important is to listen to your body, and to respect what it needs. We all require different amounts of healing time based on our health and how we delivered our little miracles, so know that not all postpartum workouts will look or feel the same.
A lot of you had questions on what I specifically did after having Evan — and at which stages — so I created this postpartum workout series for all of you mamas out there (though this is all super great for non-mamas too)! I separated it by times, beginning first with 0-3 months postpartum.
I worked alongside my yoga instructor, Chelsea Rothert, for postpartum healing, and my longtime trainer, Mike Alexander, for training exercises. I also continued to consult with Kelly LeVeque, who has been my longtime nutritionist (you can read more on my postpartum nutrition here).
WEEK 1 | 0-3 MONTHS POSTPARTUM
0-3 MONTHS | at this stage, I focused solely on postpartum healing exercises. Our bodies are most sensitive during this time. Most new mamas are approved for workouts again between 6-8 weeks — at which time I picked back up my yoga routine and took Ev for a walk everyday as light cardio. Milk production also tends to be the most sensitive at this time, and intense workouts can potentially decrease milk supply.
FOODS: healthy fats (avocado, olive oil), flax (for milk production), bone broth, salmon + nutrient-rich carbs like sweet potato, squash, quinoa + shrimp linguine (my body needed carbs post-pregnancy and while nursing, so I listened!)
WEEK 2 | 3-6 MONTHS POSTPARTUM
3-6 MONTHS | This was the first period of my postpartum journey that I started to pick up more regular workouts again. I had to be careful to not overdo the cardio as it can directly impact milk supply while you are nursing. Healing continued to be really important for my body during these months because I was still recovering from lack of sleep along with all of the newness of motherhood. I also started incorporating light weights and a small step to increase the intensity of the workout while still not over exerting myself.
6-9 MONTHS | Happy YOU time (as I like to look at it)! This point post-pregnancy felt like a new chapter for me — both mentally and physically. My body felt like it was beginning to find its rhythm again in a more normal routine, rather than feeling exhausted + depleted most of the time. This also meant I could kick it up a notch when it came to cardio. I would always kickoff my workouts with yoga (as seen above) and I specifically worked on gaining back core strength during this stage. I would also aim to run two miles 1-2 days a week, on top of doing this circuit 3-5 days a week. #momlife means #notime LOL, soooo my workouts remained quick at this stage and I’d have Ev tag along and play alongside me. Side note: Nursing still remained my top priority, and I started to struggle with milk production during this stage — so if I was having a low-supply week, I would skip cardio altogether. Listen to your body and only push yourself so far if you are still healing and/or breastfeeding. Your body knows what to do.