Hey mamas, you did it! Congrats on your little one! Your life has changed in the blink of an eye and now that you’ve done a fantastic job of carrying your baby in the womb and now in your arms, you may be ready to return to your mat and/or reformer. I was lucky to be able to teach and practice Pilates through both of my pregnancies and have a few tips for getting back to moving in your new body and also my favorite postpartum SESSION@Home workouts.
- Make sure to be cleared by your doctor. Timeline is usually between 6-8 weeks, however it could be longer if you had a C-section, complicated birth or have diastasis recti. Separation of the abdominal muscles down the center of your belly is normal, but it is considered diastasis recti when the gap is significant. Anything more than 2 fingers wide needs special care as you return to exercise.
- Give yourself grace, be kind to your body, and most of all be proud of your body! This one is so important and what I talk to our new mama clients about the most. Everyone’s pregnancies are different, so please remember everyone’s postpartum recovery and fourth trimester journey will be different. I was not ready to workout at 6 weeks after the birth of our first daughter, but I also know women who are itching to be back in the studio a month after giving birth. Be safe, honor your body and intuition, and anytime the urge to compare yourself to someone else’s postpartum timeline arises, hold your baby tight and remember how incredible your body is for creating something so unbelievably perfect. (Sorry for the gushiness – I can’t help it! Almost 5 years into motherhood and I get softer everyday)
- Movement is one of the most effective ways to reduce postpartum stress, anxiety and depression. Pilates is one of the most effective workouts to help strengthen your core muscles, pelvic floor and posture. So safe to say, Pilates is an ideal way for postpartum mamas to recover physically and emotionally from childbirth.
- Breath mama, you are doing great! Everyday with a newborn is different, so there may be days where you can do a full 50 minute class, while other days you are lucky to wash your hair or put a fussy baby down. Don’t worry if you can’t get an entire workout in. Strive for at least 10 minutes of mindful movement to help relieve anxiety, sleep better and reduce the normal stress of having a brand-new baby to learn how to care for. SESSION@Home has videos that are 7-15 minutes long, perfect timing for when you pass the baby over for someone else to change that dirty diaper. I also found it helpful to recruit my partner to do some workouts with me, or also to simply go outside and take a walk. Raising babies takes a village, so reach out if you need encouragement when the fatigue or baby blues take over.
- Enjoy this time, don’t rush it. You’ve got forever to get that mom bod your heart desires, but babies don’t keep, so savor the cuddles and we’re here when you are ready to jump back on that bed.
On that note, here are my favorite SESSION@Home workouts for coming back after baby. Just remember to take breaks when you need, breath and truly listen to that incredible body of yours.
Ashley’s Favorite Postpartum SESSION@Home Workouts
Check out the new category on SESSION@Home: Ashley’s Favorite Postpartum Workouts