If you are here looking for an at home fitness program to do postpartum, you have come to the right place. My name is Haley Rowe and I am a certified pre and postnatal fitness coach.
Postpartum is a hard time for many women – trying to figure out a new routine with a baby, but also trying to feel like your old self again in your skin.
Many questions I get from women are “how do I exercise after having a baby” and “what are the best exercises to get rid of my mommy tummy”.
These are all valid questions, and ones a fitness program is going to help answer for you (and solve).
Let’s breakdown 5 reasons you need a postpartum fitness program.
The core and pelvic floor goes through a lot during pregnancy.
There is a lot of pressure pushing out against the abdominal wall as the belly grows, and also a lot of weight pushing down on the pelvic floor as baby grows.
This pressure then stretches out those muscles and makes them weaker. Which means, you need to focus on strengthening them.
If you don’t, you could end up with dysfunction (which we will talk about next).
Rebuilding the core and pelvic floor connection is through breathing and repetition. Learning exactly how to engage the core and pelvic floor properly will allow you to build the strength and avoid mommy tummy.
You also want to rebuild strength so you can close a diastatsis recti gap (if you have one) or avoid creating one with poor breathing patterns and core contractions.
So number one priority is a functioning core and pelvic floor, which many don’t see as important. But if you like to be able to sit up in bed, stand up straight, have sex without pain and hold your pee…then you want a functional core and pelvic floor.
Reason number 1 to join The 4th Trimester.
A postpartum fitness program (or a good one) is going to teach you exactly how to breath & engage your core properly so you can be strong in any/all movement.
Without knowing exactly how to engage the core and pelvic floor, you could be causing more harm than good when doing exercises.
So that proper engagement will help heal any dysfunction that could be causing leaking, pain, discomfort etc.
If you have leaking when you sneeze, cough, laugh, jump – that is NOT NORMAL. It’s common, but it is not normal.
A postpartum program is going to help you avoid (or heal) these issues.
If you have pain during sex, or you can’t hold your bladder long, or you can’t fully empty your colon..those could be a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction.
This is why we join a postpartum fitness program – you don’t have to live with these things “just because you are a mom”.
Strength is so important for everyone, but especially for moms lugging around all kinds of stuff.
Carrying babies, carseats, diaper bags, toddlers…moms are truly superheroes.
But in order to be strong to do these things, you want to make sure you have good form and a solid strength base.
Because a weak core and upper back can lead to so much pain front holding a baby and/or breastfeeding.
We want to have strong legs and hinging movement patterns so you don’t get hurt bending over to pick up a baby/child off the floor.
You want to have a strong core so when you are carrying things in both hands you are able to stand up straight doing it.
Exercise always extends to real life and regular day to day movement patterns.
This is why we focus on the 6 movement patterns in a good program – so that you get strong doing what you do daily, and not just jumping around doing taps, touches, kicks and whatever else “HIIT” programs online do.
So you want to be a strong ass mom, get inside a postpartum fitness program, like the 4th Trimester.
Exercise is the best way to get natural energy and endorphins to boost your mood.
Rarely has anyone ever regretted a workout or felt worse after. If you are doing it right, it will leave you feeling better and energized.
I know that moms are busy with kids, babies, activities, work, family…so many things.
But those aren’t a reason to not exercise. Because exercise can give you a much better quality of life, and give you energy to get through the days and weeks.
And because I think exercise is important, and so is momming…I created an at home postpartum fitness program.
It’s 20-45 minutes a few times per week and will make all the difference in your mood, your patience, your energy, your strength and so much more.
Having a baby can change your whole life, and also your body.
It’s obvious that pregnancy and child birth is a long, grueling task that women go through. Some love it, some hate it, but everyone has changes to their body afterwords.
A postpartum fitness program can help you get back your confidence in both yourself and your body.
Because you deserve to be happy, you deserve to feel good, and you deserve to feel good in your body.
Just because you had a baby doesn’t mean you have to just “accept” your body now.
Is it going to be different? Yes.
But does it have to be worse than it was before? No.
It’s not about getting back to your old body or the old you. It’s about building confidence in this new body, in this new phase of life, and enjoying the process.
You don’t have to punish yourself to lose weight, to get back to your “pre pregnancy weight”.
You can set new goals, build new strength – using it as a new challenge and time to set new goals rather than as a game of catch up to get back to where you were.
When can I start working out postpartum?
Before doing any full exercise or working out, you want to wait until you are cleared by your doctor. That is usually 6 months postpartum for vaginal delivery and 6-12 weeks for a c section.
You can, however, start walking and doing some simple breathing and core rehab days after delivery (after being screened by a progressional).
Are there exercises I should avoid postpartum?
When you get into exercise, you want to make sure you start slow. So avoid doing anything front loaded until the core is healed a little more (16-20 weeks). You also want to avoid jumping or doing anything too strenuous before you are fully healed and have worked your way up to it.
You want to avoid any exercise that causes pain, leaking, instability or coning/bulging along the midline of your core.
How do I get rid of “mommy tummy”?
Mommy tummy is usually described as the “pouch” at the abdomen where it may still look like you are still pregnant after delivering. This is because the skin has stretched and the core muscles are weak. This will go away with a postpartum fitness program working on breathing patterns, core contraction, and slow/steady repetitions of that.
How do I know if I have Diastasis Recti?
I wrote a whole blog on this topic that includes a home self assessment. The link for that blog is here and you can check it out. I also do a virtual assessment with all clients that purchase the 4th Trimester so we can evaluate where you are currently at before safely starting the program.
How do I know where to start with exercise postpartum?
It’s important to start slow, and remember that you just went through pregnancy and delivery – both of which are really taxing and tough on the body.
A program that starts with just walking, core engagement and breathing. You don’t want to get into exercise until you are cleared by a doctor, and even then you don’t want to jump straight into exercise you were doing before pregnancy.
Starting slow will allow you to build a solid foundation and avoid injury. It will also help you to create those good exercise habits slowly moving into it rather than jumping all in chasing that “pre baby” body and life.
Hopefully this blog has encouraged you to jump into a postpartum fitness program.
Not because I am trying to sell you one (well, I am) but because there are so many benefits to it.
And I am not suggesting a postpartum program that is 6-12 weeks. I am talking 24 weeks or more of a program.
This will allow you to start slow, build a solid foundation, and create longterm habits that will hopefully extend beyond the program.
My postpartum fitness program is called The 4th Trimester.
It is a 24 week long fitness program that is all at home based, but can be done anywhere.
All workouts are delivered in an easy to use app so you can open it up each day for your workout – while also tracking weights, modifications, notes and more directly in the app.
The program also includes a 15 page ebook full of information on postpartum nutrition, training, mindset, and more.
The program begins with a health history questionnaire and a 30 minute Zoom call so I can do a movement screen, assess for diastasis recti and get you started on the correct phase of the program.
Your success and goals are important to me, but so is the health of your body, core and pelvic floor.
If you’re interested in the program, you can head to this link and check out more information.
If you found this blog helpful, I would appreciate if you could share the link on any social media channel.
That way we can get GOOD fitness programs out there, and not gimmicky quick fix ones that leave you in a worse place than when you started.
Other Postpartum/Pregnancy Blogs:
Everything You Need to Know About Diastasis Recti
How to Properly Engage your Core During Pregnancy and Postpartum