4 Weeks Postpartum Fitness

by Stephanie

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This past month has flown by for us with a busy schedule for just having a newborn.  I’m so excited to be getting back to normal – both physically and energy-wise – pregnancy is just extremely unpleasant for me.  I’ve said before, I LOVE feeling the baby move, playing music for them inside the womb, and of course, when they finally come out… but I really hate being pregnant, and I love that feeling right after the baby comes out (either that night or the next morning) where there’s like this heavy weight literally lifted off of you.  I felt that again this time, and it was so welcome!!!

As far as stats go, my “theory” about my body basically losing 20-25 lbs in those first two weeks was upheld for the 3rd time!  I’m not sure the exact number because of how much the weight fluctuates a little at the very end of pregnancy due to fluid, but I know for sure it was somewhere between 20-25 pounds that melted off in those first two weeks again.

Postpartum Swelling & Diuretics

BUT this pregnancy postpartum had a strange hiccup – while I was still in the hospital, my foot, then leg, then both legs started swelling up immensely.  It was actually a little scary.  I called my doctor right away and she thought it was possibly the anesthesia used.  Once I got home, the swelling didn’t go away and even traveled to my lower abdomen and stomach – making me look about 6 months pregnant again.  Just so strange and I’d never had that happen before with the other two.  If you google “postpartum swelling,” it appears to be something that happens sometimes – not uncommon even – and doctors just typically tell you to drink lots of water and go for walks.  From what I read from other women’s experience with it, it can go on for months!  I was already walking and drinking tons of fluid – I was moving around so much while still at the hospital that multiple people, including my own doctor, were shocked and thought I *wasn’t* the patient they were supposed to look at 😛  But the swelling just got worse.  My milk supply had already came in full throttle (lol) and she was drinking so much I had an over-abundance, so I decided it was worth the risk to take a very very small dose of a diuretic (OTC).  It was getting so bad that my maternity clothes (especially the shorts) were not even fitting anymore.

**If this swelling thing is happening to you, make sure you know the risks in taking a diuretic – it can either diminish your milk supply, making you dry up completely, or even pass to the baby and make them dehydrated if you make a mistake.

I’ve studied these things in depth and knew to only take a very small dose – about 1/4 of what was recommended on the instructions, so I felt pretty confident in what I was doing.  Doctors won’t prescribe you a diuretic for months sometimes and will just keep telling you the swelling will go away on it’s own.  For me, it worked well to make the swelling completely go away within just a couple of days… it didn’t affect my milk supply at all – but again, I knew to wait until it was really established and flowing well.

Cleared for exercise

My doctor, who is truly a conservative doctor when it comes to these things, surprised me and actually cleared me for exercise at my 4 weeks appointment.  I was so excited, we were already going for walks and even low intensity hikes within that second week postpartum, but right after I was cleared I started up my postpartum workout program.

This is what I’m doing 4 times a week right now, it is incredible and I can already feel it doing wonders for my body:

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Tracy Anderson’s Post Pregnancy DVD – you can find it for super cheap online!  And it is a gold mine of perfect workouts to get your body back.  I seriously cannot admonish you enough to get this dvd if you are wanting a better postpartum body.  Or even if you’re a man with a daughter who may have babies someday… this dvd has been unavailable before, so since it’s so cheap right now, I suggest you get it and save it for her.

Tracy suggests doing this dvd RIGHT AFTER you’re cleared for exercise, and to do it 4-6 times a week.  It is HARD and she talks you through it all, educating you on what your muscles are going through after pregnancy and why sometimes it takes longer for them to work after you’ve had the baby.

There are some exercises you may not be able to do during the first few times you try it, I couldn’t believe how my body literally wouldn’t respond at all to a couple of the workout exercises on that first day, then miraculously during the second day, it was a little better, and then by the third and fourth time, I was able to do them much better.

Nothing this woman creates is easy, and this dvd is no exception!  But I love how much **slower** the exercises go, it very relaxing to do them after the kids are asleep and have the lights low.  She suggests doing it with your baby in front of you, and I did that a couple of times and it was great.

You have to find time to workout even when you have kids, and there’s no better time to figure out a good routine of what works for your household (in supporting mommy working out) than when your baby is still little.  Our older boys are already used to my husband and I working out, they even join in sometimes.  Make it a priority if it’s important to you, but don’t let it stress you out if you have to stop and try again at another time – like when your two year old is NOT tantruming.

I’ve found throughout the years of working out with my kids either awake or sleeping, is that if you show them it’s fun and important to you, and tell them you’re taking care of yourself so you can have more fun with them and be a stronger mom, they’ll appreciate it.  Even my two-year old is usually *not* tantruming, he usually plays around me and I can tease him with tickles or kisses as I’m doing the mat workout.

Just don’t expect perfection… be flexible and ready to give up if it’s clear your kids aren’t having it at that time.  I’ve found working out after they’re asleep is more relaxing and I’m able to focus better anyway 🙂

Stephanie

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