If you’ve recently had a baby and your thinking of joining a fitness class for new moms-please make sure the instructor has training in working with pregnant and postpartum women.
Even coaches with University Degrees in Exercise Science may not be qualified. Pregnancy and Postpartum fitness isn't a part of the curriculum unless you take a Special Populations course, which I speak for at the University of Western Ontario.
Some of these programs set unrealistic expectations. For many women, in the first year postpartum, their bodies are stressed. Most of the stress is due to lack of sleep. Other stressors may include adapting to a new life, relationship chances, and body-image. Throw breastfeeding in there and hormones are all over the place, making it a little more difficult for some women to achieve their goals. And leaving you vulnerable to injury.
Fitness post-pregnancy needs to be about supporting the healing process. It’s not the time to be focusing on weight/fat loss, muscle gains, or getting your body back. I get that you want to feel more like yourself, I know I'd like that for myself, too. But research shows that it takes about a year for a woman to fully recover from childbirth--longer is she continues to breastfeed.
And it’s definitely not the time to be beating the crap out of your body, either.
In Post-Baby Rehab, you can workout in the comforts of home on your schedule. This unique, 12-week program is designed to assist in the healing from giving birth. You will retrain your core and pelvic floor back to full function, reducing risks of pelvic floor dysfunctions like incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse which are both common during and after pregnancy. Additionally, you will get back to your perferred method of training sooner and with confidence in your body.
A qualified coach is going to take a holistic approach to your fitness planning. They will ask questions about your birth like if you had an uncomplicated vaginal delievery or a c-section, (which is incredibly important in postpartum fitness planning)and what your life is like. They will ask if you’re breastfeeding (so they know to pay close attention to your joints, hydration, and caloric intake). They will also address how you’re feeling emotionally, mentally, and physically in the current moment. As I'm sure you know, every day is different!
Your best bet to returning to fitness post-pregnancy is to re-aquaint yourself with your body and how it functions. Some days will feel better than others depending on sleep, stress, and your life in general. Don't feel like you need to push yourself if you're not ready either. If starting at home for a few minutes here and there is what works, do that.
It's important to prioritize sleep, eating a well balanced diet (most days) and minimize stress the best you can. To find out exactly how to approach your postpartum recovery and fitness, grab my free Post-Baby Fitness Guide and learn how you can get back into fitness without common complications like leaking.
Pregnancy and Postpartum coaching is a unique skill set that you won't find that many coaches have. Most of the common certifications aren't geared to women at all. Most coaches are great at what they do, but they're really not familiar with the needs of pregnant and postpartum women.
Be sure to educate yourself and get professionally assessed by a pelvic floor physiotherapist. Click here to find one in your area.
To find a qualified coach you can find them in the links below.