Pregnancy& Fitness: Loving your Body through all the Stages

Congratulations on becoming a mother! You are officially a superhero. You have mastered feeling, processing, understanding, accepting, coping with all the emotions and thoughts that are there for us humans to experience. Not to mention you have given vaginal birth or had a c-section. During pregnancy we women try to prepare ourselves and our babies the best way we can. We eat healthy, take yoga classes, read What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Google everything, go to check-ups regularly, take birthing classes with our partners… The list goes on and on. Finally the big day comes, now you are a mother. Now what? Where did all that self-care and self-love go? It’s true the moment you become pregnant, you start making changes in your lifestyle. Why? For the greater good for the fetus. Now that the baby is out and you are tired, sleep deprived, in love and in shock both at the same time, the first thing you sacrifice is yourself. As a mother of two young boys myself, I had a hard time creating time for myself as well. So I hear you and see you mama. Let me kindly remind you that whether you gave birth a few weeks ago—or years ago—your body is still healing, recovering, changing. So should your exercise program. A changing or changed body requires changes to your typical training variables (load, volume, intensity, repetition, etc). That’s why “keep doing what you’ve always done” is shortsighted. So does this mean we should completely give up on our physical, mental and emotional recovery all together? The answer is: absolutely not! While getting back on your feet through exercise is a wonderful way of reducing effects of postpartum depression, mood swings, improving sleep, low energy levels, mental health and overall well-being, when returning to exercise postpartum a few questions should be asked such as:
  • Is physical readiness and a mat are all I need?
  • Where do I start?
  • How do I get started?
  • Are there contraindications? If so, what are they?
  • How does one balance weight loss safely without affecting milk production if breastfeeding?
  • What are my goals?
  • How motivated am I?
  • How can I hold myself accountable?
This is where a certified personal trainer in pre- and postnatal fitness comes to the rescue! Your exercise program needs to be carefully designed based on your body’s unique needs. Because guess what? You are unique. And your fitness program should be too. Lots of moms ask me where to start. I’d say let’s get you started with identifying and setting realistic goals for you. All or nothing mentality can quickly become frustrating and can lead to a huge set back on achieving your goals to wellness. Be patient, be consistent and be self-loving. While working on improving your physical health, find ways to show love to your body during pregnancy by honoring the changes and adopting your training. While working on improving and regaining your physical strength, let us work together on how to love your postpartum body. Let us show your body love by pursuing a lifetime of athleticism, through each phase of your life. Remember continuous improvement rather than delayed perfection. Have a healthy day! Hande is a certified personal trainer from New York who is passionate about helping people become a stronger version of themselves to be fit for life. Specializing in pregnancy and postnatal training, functional training and post-orthopedic training, her philosophy is centered around empowering clients to take a lifelong journey to wellness through personalized program design and coaching. We spoke with her about what sparked her interest in fitness and her experience living and working abroad.