We all want to have the perfect body after giving birth. I remember how stressed I felt, and how hateful I was towards my body after giving birth, when I had to get ready for my son's birth celebration, his Bris. It was only eight days after he was born, which obviously put me only eight days after giving birth, and yet in the heat of the moment I forgot all about my own mantras of "it took nine months to build so give it time" and "your body created life". I was in complete shock of not being able to fit into any of my clothes.
I remember just standing there, starting at myself in the mirror, crying hysterically. I didn't even think about the option of not being able to squeeze myself into a pair of jeans or a dress until that very moment. Only a few more hours to go before guests were to arrive, and I had literally nothing to wear: maternity clothes were now way too big, and yet regular clothes were too tight.
It took me some time to get over it, and I still have my moments of self doubt when looking at my body. But I did make it into my life mission - to help other women feel good and to remind other women and myself included - it takes time! We cannot expect out body to magically shrink back to exactly how it was in our pre-kids era in five seconds, and sometimes even in a life time. Some thing just are. We need to accept it with love and understanding, as hard as it is sometimes.
As a trainer, I do want to share some tips on how to improve our body's potential for a better recovery, by stating the important steps that each woman should consider when engaging in physical activity after giving birth, and these are:
Breathing > Core > Posture > Everything Else (Strength + Cardio)
By following this exact order, you can re-teach your body how to work properly, which will give your body a better chance to rebuild strength in a proper way, which will then lead to better strength and from there to better execution of workouts and better overall results. If you dive into crazy workouts just to get back in shape, but the foundation is not there, you can simply hurt yourself. Think about it kind of like a building without its foundation studs: If you add a balcony the entire thing will collapse, right?
Breathing Your internal organs were squished for some time now, which made breathing... well, different. It's time to teach your body how to breath properly again. This will help important breathing muscles, like the diaphragm, abs, back and pelvic floor muscles to regain functionality.
Gently activate your core to remind your center how the work is done. Everything was so stretched out for so long, it's a good idea to start slow.
Posture Teach your body how to properly align and move in space, after lower back was taking a lot of load during pregnancy and now upper back is busy being hunched over taking care of a baby.
Everything Else Now that the foundation is there, you can proceed with strength and cardio and start taking care of your body-back goals :) This will be around your six-eight weeks postpartum checkup at your doctors. Once you get the after birth green light, that's when you can check for Diastasis Recti, Pelvic Floor issues and abs activation.
So now, when thinking rationally about this, if we need to wait at least six to eight weeks only to just get started with the "real" workouts, doesn't it only makes sense that there won't be a dramatically body shape improvement for at least up until that point? I mean, if medically it is not advised to start working out right away, why is it that we give ourselves such a hard time? Think about it ;)