I’m not here to kick you’re a**. I’m not. That’s not my job and, frankly, in my opinion, trainers who run programs to whip moms back into shape postpartum are irresponsible, although probably well-intentioned. Here’s why I think that:
1. You Need to Heal
Pregnancy and delivery are life-changing and body changing events. Your body will never be the same and that’s not a bad thing! But, let’s not pretend that growing an entire human for 9 months and then either pushing them or having them cut out of your body is a small thing. It’s not a small thing at all. You wouldn’t expect to be up running a 5k a couple weeks after knee surgery. Why would you expect to be able to be functioning back at 100% a few weeks or even a few months postpartum? You shouldn’t expect that! Your body needs time to heal.
2. You Need to Re-learn Your Body
As I mentioned in the first point, your body has changed significantly. Most women find that, postpartum, they have a hard time getting their bodies to do what they are telling them to do. Especially when it comes to your core, there are muscles that you haven’t been able to connect to for many months. That switch doesn’t just flip when you are postpartum. This connection has to be re-established through intentional, purposeful work. Your mind has to reconnect with your body. Your body has to re-learn those signals and in some cases learn new ones. You won’t immediately be able to do all the things you were once able to and that’s ok! You can get there, but it won’t happen overnight. It’s going to take work.
3. You Need to Change Your Mindset
It’s not about bouncing back. It’s not about reclaiming your pre-pregnancy body. It’s not about looking like you never carried a baby. You need to acknowledge the amazing miracle your body performed and be grateful for how it is so adaptable! Your body may never look the same again and that’s ok. Establish a baseline of other markers that are indicative of success outside of aesthetics. Were you able to pick up your toddler without pain? Climb those stairs without getting out of breath? Lift 20 pounds more than you did last month? There are so many ways to view your body and all it’s done in a positive light.
So, no, I’m not here to kick you’re a**. I’m here to educate you and to help you on you healing and fitness journey – however that looks for you. If you’re personal trainer or group fitness instructor isn’t – find yourself one that is!