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Postpartum Training through the First Year

You had a baby, yay! Your postpartum journey has begun and maybe you're wondering what this phase of life should look like, at least physically as you rest, recover and eventually to rebuild your body to be strong again after pregnancy.


The road to "feeling like ourselves again" takes time. There's not much that "bounces back", to be honest with you. It truly just takes patience and careful training as you slowly regain function, strength and energy again.


Remember that it takes at least 18 months for your body to recover after pregnancy.


During these months so much change takes place in your life, there's no doubt that your fitness routine will change many times through the first year.


To help guide these various phases of fitness, I've put together a month by month template that shows you what you can expect the fitness part of your life to look like starting with day 1 postpartum that you'll find below.


Of course your journey may or may not follow this template exactly. Depending on your pregnancy, delivery and recover experience your ability to begin exercise may be different.


Please consult your doctor about when it's safe for you to begin exercising again.


Many times moms are anxious to get back into exercise, and with that eagerness to fit into our jeans again we might rush into fitness too soon (I made that mistake after my first!).


You need the reassurance that resting is a perfect place to sit and enjoy for at least the first 4 weeks after delivery.


However, even if you're further along in your fitness journey but have never spent time with core rehab, the basics of breathing and deep core activation training are still essential aspects to your fitness journey you don't want to skip.


That is, if you haven't done any core rehab training and you're 6 months or more postpartum you should implement core rehab before starting to add heavy weights.


I'd love to know where you find yourself at this point and how this was helpful to you. You can reach out to me through social media, I'm on Instagram and Facebook, I'd love to hear from you!


For each month I'll focus on what rest, strength training and cardio should look like. Take a look!


Exercise postpartum through the first year
Postpartum Exercise
 

Day 1-4 Weeks Postpartum

Rest: Rest takes top priority during this time. Your body is recovering from delivery, from possible tearing or C section scarring. Use your rest time to connect with and nurture baby.


Strength: The only strength training that should begin is gentle core breathing exercises that is explained in this free resource. Breathing will help to bring oxygen and nutrients to the areas that are healing, as well as begin to wake up your core muscles after being stretched during pregnancy.


Cardio: Some slow walking for daily activity such as walking around the house as tolerated.


5-8 Weeks Postpartum

Rest: Rest should still be a priority especially if baby is still struggling with night sleeping. Adding in some gentle stretching and mobility movement would be helpful after days of holding or nursing baby.


Strength: Continue core breathing and begin core rehab style strengthening 1-2x/week to activate deep abdominals and pelvic floor.


Cardio: Add short 10-30 minute walking sessions as tolerated.


9-12 Weeks Postpartum

Rest: Take time to rest when baby sleeps, paying attention to what you need.


Strength: Continue core rehab as your core muscles heal and recoil. Begin to add bodyweight exercises 1-2x/week to regain balance and form.


Cardio: Walking can increase as tolerated, paying attention to any low back pain, pelvic pressure or leaking. These symptoms are signs that core function is still a work in progress.


4-6 Months Postpartum

Rest: Rest as needed depending on baby's sleep habits.


Strength: Begin to add light weights to workouts to start to rebuild muscle tone. Workouts can be increased to 2-3x/week.


Cardio: Continue walking as primary endurance. Running intervals can safely begin 1-2x/week if you don't experience leaking, pain, or pressure with it. If those things do occur, seek professional support to ensure core is functioning properly. Try alternative cardio options like biking, swimming, or elliptical if those symptoms are more manageable with these activities.


7-9 Months Postpartum

Rest: Rest as needed depending on baby's sleep habits.


Strength: Workouts should progressively add weight to build lean muscle, 2-4x/week.


Cardio: Enjoy walking, biking, running, or sprint intervals as long as core symptoms are managed, 1-2x/week.


10-12 Months Postpartum

Rest: Rest as needed depending on baby's sleep habits.


Strength: Continue adding heavier weights progressively to regain strength and build lean muscle, 2-4x/week.


Cardio: Daily walking with additional cardio you enjoy 1-2x/week.


 

This first year of postpartum has everything to do with healing, improving function and rebuilding our bodies the right way so that motherhood can be done with strength and energy without limitations keeping us from enjoying our littles and all the things they push us to do with them.


Looking for the step by step workouts, exercise and even healthy eating to support you through these phases?


That's where my Strong After Baby Training programs begins! Rebuild your body stronger and leaner with simple, consistent habits you'll be able to continue with for years through every phase of motherhood. Getting strong starts at the core and from there the limits are endless!



Ready to begin a fitness plan but would like to discover which program is the best place to start?


I'll look forward to your email.

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