How To Exercise With Your Baby
Hello! I’m Meghan and I blog over at HabitMom. I am a mom of two kids, a 2.5-year-old daughter and my most recent addition, my son, who was born this past November. I have always led an active lifestyle but I really fell in love with fitness during my first pregnancy a few years ago.
Becoming pregnant inspired me to really examine my diet and exercise and make them a priority while growing this little girl inside me. While pregnant with my daughter I worked out probably five times a week and still gained 42lbs during my pregnancy. My midwifes were puzzled because I ate well and clearly exercised all the time. I was tested for EVERYTHING due to my rapid weight gain and as it turns out we just breed big babies. She was born via emergency C-Section weighing in at 10lbs 10oz and 22.5 inches. I lost the baby weight fairly quickly and credit my recovery to my active pregnancy. I began strength training to get stronger because a 10lb baby only gets heavier each month so I needed the extra muscle to keep up!
Before we got pregnant with my son, I was in the best shape I have ever been in and loved my results from weight lifting. Upon getting pregnant last year with my son, I took the same active approach. I gained the same amount of weight and due to his size (9.02lbs & 22 inches) he was born via C-Section as well. I had a fantastic recovery and I firmly believe that staying healthy and working out throughout those ten months of pregnancy helped me recover that much quicker and easier.
With a toddler at home, I really needed a quick recovery so my hard work paid off! I’ve taken the time to heal and rest and now that I am clear to exercise again I am blogging all about my journey as I get back in shape post baby! I like to share my workouts, healthy recipes, and stories about our family because life can be outright funny lately!
|May 2012 & December 2013|
Getting back in shape after having a baby is a desire most of us have, but where to start and when to find the time? As a mom, we are already exhausted from a new baby and throw in some siblings and a husband (that can count as an extra child most days) and we are left with little to no time for ourselves.
Many people have told me, “Oh you were thin before so you are just lucky you lost the baby weight so quick.” Well, actually no luck here—just hard work.
For me, the journey to getting my post baby body back started before I got pregnant. I put in the time before I got pregnant by staying active and while pregnant I kept that momentum going to help my body shed the pounds once the baby got here. So, I’ve been working hard for over a year to get where I am today.
So whether you start laying the groundwork prepregnancy, start moving while pregnant, or workout post pregnancy, we all start somewhere and we all have to work hard to get to be where we want.
That said, I’ve had two C-Sections and I prefer to take it extremely slow the first few months to let my body heal properly before jumping into any extreme workouts. I really think the first 6-8 weeks are meant for us women to focus on the baby and resting when we can. Those first two months are such a fog with adjusting to the lack of sleep, finding time to eat, and transitioning into this new life with a new baby. Our bodies took 10 months to stretch out and make a baby so its very unreal to think we will slim down and shape up in just a few months.
In my case, I lose the weight fairly quickly but I’m left with flab and mama pooch belly that all needs tightening. So I still have work to do! I spent the first two months NOT worried about working out and just focused on my diet and catching a nap when both kids happen to nap at the same time. By diet I mean making sure I ate lots of healthy food (thank you freezer meals and mom’s home cooking) and eating plenty of food daily to keep up with my milk supply and give me natural energy since caffeine was not a part of my daily intake. We did lots of family walks but kept it easy and fun.
|Family Walks: How I spent the first 6 weeks|
Now that my baby is 2 months old I have started to map out my workouts for the next few months. I started back slow and easy with exercises that focus on strengthening my core from the inside out. It’s so important to strengthen your transverse abdominis first before any other core workout. You can read more about what the heck those muscles are and how to work them here.
Until this baby is on a more predictable schedule like his older sister it’s hard to dedicate the same time each day to do a workout. I have decided to incorporate him into my workouts these first few weeks. That way I can remain flexible and get a workout in anytime and feel accomplished for doing something!
These are effective no matter what type of birth you had and great to start with no matter what fitness level, just as long as your doctor says you are good to go! I’m just getting started with the postpartum Mommy & Me exercises so follow along for the fun on the blog or on Instagram @habit_mom if you want!
Here are two exercises I really enjoy doing with my baby lately:
These can be done over the baby on your toes or modified on your knees. They can be done on your hands to begin with and if that is to easy, move to doing it on your forearms. You won’t even feel the burn while you are busy looking down at that sweet baby. Planking on your forearms is also a GREAT transverse abdominis engaging exercise!
I find myself doing these while putting my little guy to sleep. He is a mover and a shaker so he prefers mama to hold him and move non stop in order for him to fall asleep. I figure why not get some lower body exercise while getting him to snooze. So these can totally be done in your PJ’s, jeans, or really anytime!