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Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and cannot diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. You should always seek the advice of your own health professionals before acting on something that I have published or recommended. See my full disclaimer here.
Remember your body before baby? Who here doesn’t want that back? There are a few things you should know about that whole ‘get your body back’ thing. It’s a beautiful idea, even if somewhat impractical or ill-timed or both. And while the pre-baby skinny jeans should take a long, loooong break, here are five important tips to you’ll want to use to get back into optimal shape as soon as you’re feeling ready for it after baby.
1. It’s not about the weight
Seriously. It’s not about the weight. Did you catch that? IT’S NOT ABOUT THE WEIGHT. It will totally feel like it’s about the weight. But optimal health is the goal, not how much you weigh. So it’s not about…ok. We get it. Moving on.
2. Take it super easy
It took 9 months for your wise woman body to build that person; every woman is different but as a general rule, give it at least 9-12 months before you’re worried about poundage, BMI, and working out like you used to. You should, however, consider appropriate exercise for the stress relief, enorphine boosts, and mental/emotional benefits as soon as your doc clears you. What kind of exercise is good for you? We’ve got you covered HERE.
3. Get cozy with your BMI
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight associated specifically to adults. You can measure your BMI here. You’ll want to target for a BMI within the normal range for your height and weight. That said, it’s best to get your BMI checked in conjunction with a health checkup or a consult with a health coach, as they are able to measure BMI more accurately. Additionally, muscle weighs more than fat, so a quick self-assesment (how are you eating? do you lots of adipose tissue? Are you normally strong and muscular?) can give you a good idea of whether or not you should get a BMI re-check.
4. Correct your alignment
Growing a child for nine months means your skeletal system has to adjust in all kinds of ways to accommodate a new center of gravity and a new way of walking and moving. Add to that all of the breastfeeding posturing, weird sleeping positions, wearing and carrying baby after birth, and the poor posture situation just checking facebook or sitting in a glider once in a while—your back will pretty much be down for the count. If ever there was a time for chiropractic care, this is it. When and where you can, do your best to be intentional about maintaining good posture, as it can save your back from months of difficulty. Other things that help?
Use a massager or WAY better yet, get regular massages.
Use a spoonk mat or acupuncture.
Craniosacral therapy to help your muscles cooperate with chiropractic adjustments.
For muscle pain, use great natural remedies such as Deep Blue from Doterra.
5. Strenghten Your Core
Even if you were really intentional about keeping your core strong during pregnancy, as it’s likely that your core will need some specific and targeted love. You may also have a diastasis recti which is separation of the abdominal muscles (heres how to check). A great place to start your post-baby body work is with the core, doing gentle exercises to strengthen and repair your abdominal muscles, psoas, and your core. A great place to start is with yoga or pilates, which are both exceptional for core strength. Additionally, check out the work of Liz Koch, whose entire practice is about maintaining the psoas muscle and core.
Ready for some truth? Your pre-baby body is gone, changed forever.
Moment of silence.
Not that it has to look that way, but you’ll feel some things that are just new, some of which you’ll never get used to (leaks when you sneeze, anyone? #pregnancygifts #thanks). Gone is the tight everything that was your young, unititiated self. Here to stay are the marks of the beautiful people you’ve created. (In fact, you carry your baby's cells in your bloodstream, brain and heart. Seriously amazing.) Be ok with this. Your body is glorious. Take a moment of mourning and then move on confidently into the beauty and strength that your motherhood brings, honoring the body that brought you into your more comfortable, wiser self.