Your Pre-Baby Body: Fitness + Nutrition After Pregnancy
Guest blogger and Fitness and Nutrition Coach, Kalli Youngstrom joins us below to shed some light on the topic of getting back in to shape after baby.
Over the last nine months your body has been through the most emotionally, physically, and mentally challenging experience it will likely ever go through, yet one of the first things on your mind postpartum is getting your pre-baby body back. I get questions every day from new and expecting mothers about what they should be doing to get their pre-baby body back, how quickly they can begin dieting and exercising, and what the secret to quick and efficient baby-weight loss is. Here’s the secret I tell them: give yourself and your body grace, space, and time to recover from the efforts of pregnancy and delivery and enjoy your life with your new little human without worrying about your body right now.
I know that’s not the answer they want hear, but it’s the truth and something I think all new mothers NEED to hear. You’re allowed to take your time, your body is allowed to look different, and you’re allowed to love yourself for it along the way. I know it’s easier said than done with the pressures and expectations you may feel around you along with those you’re putting on yourself, but your body has created life, your body is producing nourishment, and you’re responsible for introducing a new human to the world. That’s a tall order on top of expecting your body to look like it didn’t just carry a child for nine months!
The only must you have is to focus on is taking care of babe and of yourself, everything else can wait.
The amount of pressure I see women putting on themselves to get their pre-baby body back and with such a short timeline is crazy. You literally CREATED LIFE, you’re a super human, you’re amazing, your body might change, it might never look exactlythe same as before your baby, and that’s ok. Remember that you’re not a Kardashian, you don’t have to lose your baby weight in three months, and you shouldn’t.
Postpartum the focus should be on rest, recovery, and relaxation. There’s no rush to get back in your favorite pair of jeans. Remind yourself that you’re able to be a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously and don’t forget how magical it is that you just brought life to this earth. Instead of focusing on the scale, the cellulite, the stretch marks, focus on nourishing from the inside out, moving your body in the ways that feel good, and relaxing your mind (as much as a new Mom possibly can).
Nourish: focus on postpartum health from the inside out
-focus on eating whole, nutrient dense foods and enough of them (if breastfeeding +300 calories)
-eat foods high in healthy fats to keep you full, satisfied, and keep your hormones happy
-listen to what your body’s digestion is telling you and avoid foods that cause discomfort
Move: for your physical and mental health
-start with light walking, Kegels, and pelvic floor exercises until cleared to exercise by your doctor
-once given the go-ahead begin with light bodyweight movements, avoid high intensity and jumping
-use the time you have, a few minutes here and there throughout the day, walks with baby, keep it simple
Relax: being a new mom is stressful, do the little things to help
-a few minutes of silent, guided, or moving meditation lowers cortisol and increases dopamine
-the little things like a lavender scent diffuser, relaxing music, and candles around the house
-ask for help, ask for a break, and take a few minutes to yourself when you can, you need it
Everyone is different in terms of recovery time and preparedness to get back into a regular exercise routine. I always recommend new mommas focus on nutrition for the first few weeks along with gentle movements, walking, and pelvic floor work as soon as they’re ready. Concentrating on pelvic floor strength as soon as possible postpartum can help prepare you for more movements in the following weeks. Beyond this, I recommend waiting for your postnatal checkup and clearance from your doctor for more intense exercises. For most mothers this is anywhere from 6-12 weeks depending on how active you were during pregnancy and whether you delivered vaginally or through cesarean. Working with a fitness professional postpartum can be a great way to take the guess work out of what you’re ready for and take your mind off of worrying about what to eat and when to move.
One of the ways I work with busy moms is through my 6-week online group programs. They are designed to be cost effective, quick and efficient, and done at home. With the program you get daily workouts via my app complete with video examples, customized nutrition, and weekly check ins with me for support and accountability, along with access to an amazingly supportive group Facebook page with other women working on their fitness. As a thank you I want to offer you $50 off my next group program, starting November 5th, or any customized program on my website www.kyfitness.ca. Use the code: 50OFF at check out to save
Have questions for Kalli? Find KY Fitness on Facebook (KY Fitness and Nutrition Consulting), Instagram (Kalli Youngstrom) or contact her through her website.
Kalli Youngstrom of KY Fitness & Nutrition is a certified weight management specialist, certified personal trainer, and nutritionist who specializes in working with women to create their happiest, healthiest lifestyle.
Until next time,