I am currently three weeks post partum, and have been absolutely loving all of the snuggles with my new little guy. Since I documented my journey through a healthy pregnancy, I want to give you some insight into my post partum recovery. I always hesitate to share my pictures, but I cannot illustrate that I am just like anyone else without showing the less than perfect aspects of my life. My body is much different than pre-pregnancy, but my goal is not to regain my pre-pregnancy body. My goal is regain fitness so that I can better take care of my son, and so I can set a healthy example for him.
So what have I been doing to stay healthy and recover post partum? The first thing I did, was learn to accept help from others. The more I let others help me, the more I could rest and let my body recover from giving birth. Not only is rest important for recovery, it is also important in aiding in fat loss. The more exhausted you are, the more your hormones cause you to retain fat, especially in the abdominal area.
Next, I focused on my nutrition. I premade a lot of food to put into my freezer. While family has been here, they have helped to cook some nutritious meals, including this delicious breakfast:
- 12 large eggs
- 16 ounces Greek yogurt
- 12 ounces cheese, shredded
- 8-10 pieces bacon, cooked
- Spinach, chopped
- Broccoli, cooked (3 minutes steamed) and chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Put eggs and Greek yogurt in blender with Oregano and pepper. Blend well.
- Put half the cheese into a 9X13 baking pan, followed by the bacon, the broccoli and then the rest of the cheese.
- Pour the egg mixture over the whole thing.
- Bake 45-55 minutes, until top is golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Eating well has been important on several levels. First, it has ensured I have maintained milk production for breastfeeding. Second, eating well gives me the energy I need to take care of my baby while only sleeping a few hours at a time. Finally, it has helped me to recover, because I am feeding my body the nutrients it needs to repair tissues.
Finally, I have focused on doing light, basic exercises to ease my way back into working out. I started with short, slow walks. Once I felt comfortable, I began doing inner core exercises, such as heel slides, core contractions, and bridges. As my core has gotten stronger, I have added a high plank. I only do these exercises three or four days per week, and never two days in a row. I added some weighted exercises as well, being sure to use lighter weights than I was using even at the end of my pregnancy. I love lifting weights, because ultimately that is how I will reshape my body. Any workouts I have done, or will do in the future, will never be more than 45 minutes, and more likely will only be 30 minutes tops. With a new baby, I do not have time to spend hours at the gym. I want to spend time with him, so I workout when he naps or when he’s playing on the ground. I workout right along side him. I will also be adding sprints, heavier weights, and HIIT, as I feel more comfortable and recovered.
Ultimately my goal is to be strong and healthy to set a good example for my son, and to be able to best take care of him. I am cleared by my doctor to workout as I feel comfortable. ALWAYS get clearance from your doctor before working out during or after pregnancy.