The Postpartum Fitness Trap
Six weeks – This is the standard number of weeks that women receive for not training after childbirth. With my first pregnancy, I managed to get through to five weeks, but this time I was set at six. I was ordered to stop training after 37 weeks of pregnancy, that is, four weeks after birth, I was removed from the Sauce for a total of seven weeks-which sounds like an eternity for a fitness addict.
I got used to idleness and lack of body exercise. I almost forgot about the glorious endorphin rush that comes with a great Cardio session, lifting success or the awesome way to achieve a body goal.
Finally, I embraced the rest. Still, seeing my muscle tone slipping away was like watching a hot fudge sundae sink into oblivion in front of a window I couldn’t open. It was sad and frustrating.
The Problem with Social media
I had planned to do this for up to six weeks before resuming training, but instead I let disruptive thoughts try to interrupt my Plan. I often scroll through Instagram (by the way, they do a lot of social media with a newborn on their arm) and I see mothers after giving birth talking about returning to the gym three weeks after giving birth to do a light workout. I saw a mother jogging four weeks after birth. I saw a woman who said that her doctor gave her the all-clear for all kinds of exercises only four weeks after birth. I’m starting to feel confident. Why don’t I do it?
God knows I’m going to do it all over again — all my muscle tone and Strength have completely disappeared. Why did I wait six weeks for a decent walk? The Itch of Comparison began to ratchet. After four weeks after birth, the long days and nights of maternity leave, amplified by these crazy maternal hormones, take their toll on me.
Rationally, I know that starting workouts two weeks earlier than planned will not make any difference in the grand Plan of life. I also struggle with pelvic floor problems aggravated by movement, especially running. I still have strange cramps from time to time, and I have daily headaches that don’t seem to have an explanation. The accidental pee situation isn’t good either, especially when I’m doing something exhausting, like getting my toddler in the car or chasing him to the supermarket.
The Timing is different for everyone
This body is not finished yet. Looking back at my first pregnancy, I remember how I felt like I was starting over. I was almost embarrassed to film my treadmill five weeks after birth. After seven weeks, I realized that there really was no reason for a woman to try double-Unders.
In fact, it’s not about losing weight or getting into my clothes (I want these things after all). It’s more of a mental game to get my fitness back – but what’s the rush? I’m not a competitive athlete and I have to be fit my whole life. And that’s why I’m taking a Minute to think about what really matters right now, and that’s spending time with my little girl.
I think I’m not going to follow a few people on social media anymore, do some healing tracks, meditate and cuddle My Babies a little longer. Downtime is not easy for an active and busy bee like me, but for this little piece of life I can let the sheep belly and the sweet days be easy — they will be gone before I know it.
It does not hurt to wait for the recommended Minimum of six weeks before resuming training after childbirth. However, it can hurt to start too early or to push your body beyond what it is ready to do. Each person’s journey is unique and, as always, we don’t know the real story behind the perfect Instagram shot.