Giving birth is one of the most incredible experiences that I feel you will ever go through, trust me, I know, I’ve been there, twice. When you’re pregnant, your body changes in order to become the best possible place for your baby to develop and grow. While it may seem discouraging at times, just remember, this is a natural part of becoming a mother, and shouldn’t be the cause of any shame. You’re strong, you’re beautiful, you are a mother! There does, however, come a time when us moms are ready to get their pre-baby bodies back. And when that time comes, I’m here to help. Whether your desired result is weight loss, overall wellness, or building muscle postpartum, I’ll provide the perfect workout for you. A postpartum workout will need to be slightly different from your routines before giving birth, and that’s okay.
Give yourself grace, stay motivated, and don’t get discouraged. Finding support is the key to getting back into shape postpartum. That’s why I’ve assembled these seven easy-to-follow tips for moms looking to build muscle, gain back confidence, and help you understand it’s okay to make time for yourself. Read on, and let me share some tips that have helped me and the #sweatysisters in Jen’s Get Fit Group.
1. Don’t Start Until You’re Ready
First, and foremost make sure you have your doctors approval before starting any fitness activity while pregnant, or postpartum.
There can be a lot of pressure and unrealistic expectations placed on us moms to bounce back to our pre-pregnancy bodies almost immediately after giving birth. I’m here to tell you those are not realistic expectations, and that’s okay! Don’t let these thoughts force you to start exercising before you’re really ready, or your doctor has given you approval. Every pregnancy and healing process is different, and you’ll need to go at a pace that is comfortable and right for you.
It took you nine months to grow a human! Your body is beautiful, love and respect it through this new season. Have patience, and stay consistent. Soon you’ll have a rockin’ mom bod!
2. Build Your Postpartum Workout Routine Up Slowly
Once you start working out again, it’s important to take it slow. You don’t want to do too much too soon. I know as moms we can get pulled in a lot of different directions, so, let yourself go slow, give your body time to regain the strength to do full-body workouts again.
For example, I recommend the women in my group start out with low-impact workouts until they feel they are ready to jump back into daily, higher-intensity workouts. You don’t need heavy equipment or intense cardio, just a chair and a light set of weights is usually enough.
Taking care of yourself, and your baby, is super important. There has been some evidence to suggest that doing intensive exercise can cause lactic acid levels to build up in your breastmilk. If you are breastfeeding, you may want to consider starting slow, at least for a little while, especially if you haven’t consistently been working out. So, give yourself time. It’s okay you’ll get there.
3. Fuel Your Workouts Properly
Working out and breastfeeding together burns a lot of calories. When I was breastfeeding and working out, my favorite go to supplements were Milky Mama. These supplements will help you from dipping into your milk supply. They’re made with natural ingredients designed to help promote breast milk production.
When you’re looking to build muscle, nutrition is the most important part. I’m here to tell you that a healthy relationship with food and exercise is possible. There are certain tips, like eating carbohydrates after your workout and making sure you’re getting enough protein to help you in your postpartum muscle growth. It’s also important to drink a sufficient amount of water (I suggest at least a gallon a day to my members) to keep up your milk supply and stay hydrated. Working out and nursing are HARD WORK!
Consult with your doctor before taking any supplements while pregnant or breastfeeding. Keep in mind, food is fuel. For my members that are postpartum and breastfeeding, I figure their macros differently than the average member.
4. Consistency Is Key
Consistency is important when building muscle, and I know this can be difficult when you’re trying to look after your baby. But, it’s also important for us moms to take some time for ourselves. You can’t pour from an empty cup!
It’s okay to ask for help. Even if it’s only once or twice a week, try asking your partner or a trusted friend to look after your baby for even 30 minutes, so you can focus on your workout routine. Chances are, they can’t wait to help out and snuggle your little one!
I know it gets tough, but trust me, it’s all worth it. So, keep moving forward. Take your time, and trust the process when it comes to building muscle and achieving your body goals. If you’re struggling, Sign up for my program, so I can help you to maintain the consistency you need.
5. Find Workouts You Enjoy
To follow up on my last point, it’s a lot easier to work out on a regular basis when it’s something you actually enjoy. If you’re finding your routine boring or difficult, don’t be afraid to switch it up and try something else. You can build muscle in a number of different ways, and I can recommend plenty of alternative exercises for new mothers. If you’re a current Jen’s Get Fit Group member you know this, but if you’re new to the sisterhood, know you’ll get a variety of workouts to keep things fresh.
Whether you choose to follow along with a routine, or would rather find your own groove in terms of what you like to do. It’s always a good idea to add some variety to your workouts—try strength training one day, and cardio the next.
6. Incorporate Your Baby Into Your Postpartum Exercise Routine
Making time for yourself is important, but don’t shy away from incorporating some mommy-and-me time into your exercise routine. There are tons of creative and different exercises available for you to try with your little one.
You may not realize it at first, but being a mom can be quite a workout on its own. Carrying your baby, picking up a carseat, rocking them to sleep all can contribute to building muscle. Try spending some quality time with your little bundle of joy by working out together.
Plus, when they’re big enough to walk (or run), I offer free kid-friendly workouts for your entire family to enjoy!
7. Know Which Muscles You’re Looking to Target
Everybody has their preferences on which muscle groups they want to build up and why. You may want to improve your arm strength for baby-carrying, or strengthen your back because of all the bending and lifting you’re doing. No matter what area needs a little extra attention, I can help you target and strengthen it with a variety of exercises.
Most moms wish to target their core. Your abdominal muscles get stretched out during pregnancy, which can make them more difficult to strengthen. In JGFG we strengthen from the inside out to avoid any issues with diastasis recti. Consult with your doctor before doing any core strengthening exercises! Core strength influences posture, eases stress on your joints, and promotes an overall ease of movement. I can help you target these areas to improve the health of your entire body, and make workouts much easier.
Your Postpartum Workout and Building Muscle Postpartum
To conclude, building muscle postpartum is challenging. But, hopefully, my tips above can help make it a little easier.
For extra help along your postpartum workout journey, sign up for my program and see just how much you can achieve. Let me help you find confidence, support, and the encouragement needed to achieve your fitness goals.