I’ve been in your shoes. You’ve just had your first baby. The first week is a blur of emotions: pure joy as you watch your baby discover the world and absolute exhaustion as you try to piece together a night of sleep 30 minutes at a time. Sometime during the second week, you finally get 10 minutes to yourself to take a shower. God bless the babysitter! As you are toweling off you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and stare in disbelief. What on earth happened to your body? Motherhood is an incredible journey that changes every part of you. The beginning of motherhood is also the beginning of another journey: the journey to get back into shape or, as I like to call it, the journey to find your best post-baby body.
I’ve been on this journey for the past 8 months. Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Autumn, I am mom to an adorable little girl named Sienna, and I live in San Diego with my husband. I am also a fitness guru and love all things exercise. This is the first of a 4 part series on the keys to finding your BEST post-baby body.
Want to know what I’ve found to be the first key to finding your BEST post-baby body? Exercise. It sounds simple enough, but in practice, I know how hard it is to find time to do the laundry, let alone exercise. I’d love to help you here.
I have worked in the fitness industry for years teaching classes and personal training. When we decided to start a family, I knew I wanted to stay active, but knew that getting out of the house and to the gym with a baby in tow was going to be tough. When I started looking into what kind of options there were to workout at home, I was less than impressed, so I decided to create a better solution! That’s how my company, Tailored Fitness, was born. It’s the perfect solution because it gives you the great workout you would get at a class at the gym, but allows you to do so in your living room. Plus, you can customize your workout by choosing which area you want to focus on and exactly how long you want your workout to be. Best of all, you can finish a high-caliber workout in the time it would have taken you to get ready, pack up the car, and drive to the gym.
But if your baby is anything like mine, you know that as soon as you get ready to workout, she will suddenly get fussy and want attention. Rather than letting that stop me, though, I decided to involve her in my workouts! After all, setting a healthy example for my daughter is important to me. I discovered that there are tons of exercises you can do with your baby, both in the Ergobaby Carrier and out. That’s how the Exercise with your baby workout came about!
Slowly and surely, between workouts with my daughter and workouts on my own during her naptimes, I have found my way to my post-baby best. It’s really important to remember that it takes time. Often we only see articles about the miraculous post-baby weight loss of celebrities (who have personal trainers, live-in chefs, and most notably, Photoshop on their side). The journey of the average woman looks quite different. If you are interested in hearing a story that is more true to life, I have been writing monthly blog posts about my post-partum exercise journey here. It is totally possible to get back to the place where you are happy with your body; it’s just going to take some work.
So let’s take a deeper look at Exercise, the first key to finding your best post-baby body. Here are the answers to the most common questions I get from my clients who are new moms:
When can I start working out after having a baby?
You should of course get clearance from your doctor before beginning an exercise program. Generally your doctor will clear you at about 6 weeks post partum for a vaginal birth, and 8 weeks post partum for a c-section. Remember to ease back into exercise, especially when it comes to your abs! Don’t expect to be able to jump right back to where you were before pregnancy. Slow and steady is the way to go!
How should often should I workout?
Do your best to exercise at least 4 days a week for about 30-45 minutes. You may need to work up to this (as noted above), but this should be a good goal. Don’t worry if your 45 minutes is broken up into three 15 minute chunks throughout the day. It still counts!
What’s the best type of workout to lose the baby weight?
The best recipe for weight loss is a combination of cardio and strength work, with an emphasis on core work to help you regain strength in your abs. You need to burn calories with the cardio and rebuild your muscle tone with the strength work. The core work will help you get back into good postural alignment. Motherhood requires physical strength. There is lots of lifting, carrying, and twisting involved in caring for a baby, so don’t shy away from the strength work. I promise you won’t get big and bulky!
Can I still exercise if I am breastfeeding?
Yes! Exercise does not affect the quality or quantity of your breast milk. The primary change you’ll need to make is to increase the amount of water you are drinking since you’ll be sweating. Here’s a link to a recent blog post I wrote about this topic. Breastfeeding and Exercise: What you need to know. It’s also important to make sure you have a good sports bra. Here’s some info about the one I love.
Here are 2 simple strength exercises you can try with your baby in the Ergobaby Carrier:
This exercise sculpts your core, butt and thighs, with a little arm work too. Stand with your feet wide and your knees and toes facing out. Extend your arms straight out to the side. Tuck your tailbone under and lower into a squat. At the bottom of your squat, twist from your core to one side and then the other side. Then return to center and rise up from your squat. Repeat for a total of 20 repetitions.
Get ready to feel the burn in those quadriceps. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and lower into a squat. Step your left foot behind you and slow lower your back knee all the way to the ground (make sure you have a mat under your knees for cushion). Then take your right foot back until you are sitting on both knees. Then bring your left foot forward into a lunge position. Slowly raise up to the top of the lunge, then step your right foot back to the front to meet the right ending in a squat. Repeat with the left leg leading trying to stay in the squat position at the top each time. Repeat alternating legs for a total of 20 repetitions.
Are you ready to for more? I am excited to be able to give you all a chance to try the Exercise with your Baby Workout. All you need is your Ergobaby Carrier and your baby!
Click here to start your workout.
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- For some of the exercises, it is important for your baby to have good head control, modify or skip exercises as needed to keep things safe for you and your baby.
If you enjoy the workout and would like to try out some of our other workouts or even build your own, you can sign up for our free 30 day trial here. Keep an eye out for the upcoming blog posts where we will take a look at the next 3 keys to finding your best post baby body!
Key # 2 – Cooking healthy with your baby in the Ergobaby Carrier
Key # 3 – Living an active life with Ergobaby
Key # 4 – Setting a good example with Ergobaby
Please use caution when attempting any of the carries, exercise or activities highlighted on this blog. Please use common sense and caution when using a Carrier. You should consult a physician before starting any diet or exercise program. For more information, see our Disclaimer.