Sweaty Mommy Survival Guide Tip #16: I’m Three Months Postpartum…But I’m Not Bouncing Back
Confession: I had fully expected my body to bounce back to its pre-pregnancy weight within weeks of giving birth.
Second confession: I’m now three months postpartum, and I haven’t bounced back at all.
Working out is at the bottom of a long list of priorities, and “bouncing back after baby” has taken longer than I’d expected. And while I know that this phase of motherhood won’t last forever and I should cherish the time that I have with my little guy (which I do,) exercise is also an important part of my own self-care.
So, in the spirit of self-care, below are some tips to help all of us find our fitness groove again.
Set New, Baby-Friendly Goals
Make sure that any goal you set is realistic based on all of the other demands you encounter as a mom: the physical recovery needed after giving birth, exercising while breastfeeding, etc. Start training for that 10k, but think about whether finding a race one month later than your original goal will give you much-needed time to ease into things. Whatever you do, don’t push yourself with an unrealistic goal that takes your self-care and turns it into a source of disappointment and stress.
Try New Things
Some days, no amount of planning is getting me to the gym. Maybe the baby spit up on himself (and me in the process) as I put him into his car seat. Maybe he pooped out of his diaper and needs a bath. You know, the usual mom stuff.
Since setting foot in the gym is never guaranteed, I’ve started exploring new ways to work out beyond my favorites. And I’ve found some things that I like (circuit workouts in the garage) and others that I hate (YouTube instructors who take pleasure from my pain.) But, becoming a mom and having new limitations on my time has driven me to try aspects of fitness that I never would have tried otherwise.
Think Outside the Box
I’m fortunate in that I can bring my baby to the gym and a few of the instructors actually watch my little guy when they aren’t training. However, my baby falls asleep towards the end of each of my workouts (he loves being held by professional boxers and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters, I guess,) and he refuses to nap again once we get home.
So, I’ve started letting him fall asleep at the end of a workout, carefully popping him into his stroller, and then taking him for a walk around the complex once I finish my workout. We don’t miss nap time and I still get to finish my workout.
Whether it’s going for a walk with a sleeping baby, doing a stroller workout, etc., try to open your mind to creative solutions that make exercising a bit easier for you.
The postpartum period is a difficult one, but hopefully, these tips can help you ease back into the world of exercise. If you have any tips of your own, don’t forget to share them below!
Morgan Hugoboom is a fitness junkie, proud wife to her U.S. Marine husband, freelance writer, and editor, and new mom to her hurricane baby, Killian (born 48 hours before Hurricane Irma hit central Florida.) She enjoys eating pizza and chronically how many times Killian pees on her in a single day on Instagram (@blueberrychronicles) and on her blog (www.blueberrychronicles.com.)