Congratulations! Being a mother is one of the most demanding yet rewarding professions and you’ve been doing a great job raising your child. You’ve carried your baby for 9 months and gained weight, there’s no doubt that you feel strange. You look at yourself in the mirror and you know for a fact that you look completely different – and that’s OK. It’s normal.
As normal as it may be, you’re probably eager to return to your old routine of training martial arts. You’re also looking forward to fitting into your jeans (not maternity, for once!) and going back to your old, pre-baby body. Before you start committing yourself to training 5 – 6 days a week, it’s important that you take every precaution you can. Today, Evolve Daily shares How To Safely Get Back Into Training Postpartum:
1) Take it one step at a time
Being a new mom is a special time. If you’re breastfeeding, you’re probably up every two hours trying to feed and soothe your baby. If you aren’t, you’re up every two hours anyway because babies are on some crazy schedule and appear to hate sleeping. You’re caring for an infant who needs you, regardless of whether you have abs or not. Because of all these changes in your life, you’d most certainly need to get used to them first. Enjoy motherhood and bask in all the cuddles and giggles you get from your little one. You’ll eventually get your body back in time; trust us!
2) How are you feeling?
If you’ve had a natural birth, you’re probably wondering, where the hell did my pelvic floor go? If you’ve had a c-section, you might feel that your core is completely non-existent – and that’s completely normal! You aren’t superwoman and your body needs time to heal and rebuild itself. Postpartum isn’t about going back to normal, it’s about adapting to this new phase in your life. If others are telling you that you’re doing too much too soon, listen to them – let your body heal first.
3) Understand your new self
Yes, you gave birth – and that’s incredible. You went through one of the most powerful experiences a woman, or any human being could ever fathom. Your body has been through so much physiological change that you can’t expect things to go back exactly the way they were. These changes should help you reassess your priorities, especially your fitness goals. Instead of longing for the old you, think of this new stage in your life as a time for change. If anything, you’re probably stronger than you were before – who knew you could do all that?
4) Get clearance from your doctor, and then some
At six weeks postpartum, your obstetrician will probably require a check-up to see if you’ve healed properly. At this point, he/she will give you the go signal to work out. Now listen, just because your doctor gives you the green light, it doesn’t mean you should be ready. Only you know if you’re ready. Listen to your body. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you going back to training because X started training 6 weeks postpartum? Is your desire to get back into training based on comparison with others?
- Do you feel the need to train? Or are you just going to training because you feel like you should be ready?
After going through these questions in your head, decide whether you should start training or not. If you’re pretty sure about your decision, then go ahead. If your desire to train is based on goals that don’t take your new postpartum body into consideration then it probably won’t be sustainable.
There’s no doubt that as a new mom, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Not only are you raising a human being, you’re also trying to be healthy and be the best version of yourself possible. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t “bounce back” right away. Take your time and listen to your body. Love the new you and find your new strengths – we don’t doubt that there will be many of them!
If you’re looking for a new and fun workout to jump into once you are ready, give martial arts a go. Not only will training martial arts get you into the best shape ever, it will help you learn practical self-defense skills for the real world!
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