Having zero complications in labor made me very eager to get back to the gym. I worked out up until the day I gave birth and I didn’t tear or have any stitches. I’ve been active my whole life and sitting doesn’t come natural to me. I had family waiting on me hand & foot and just wanted to feel connected to my body again.
My midwife made it simple. When the bleeding starts to decrease, walk outside to the end of the block. Go back in and check to see if that made you bleed more. Continue doing that further and further each day until you are no longer bleeding.
I bled for 5 weeks.
Towards the end of the first two weeks, when bleeding was very light, I decided to try a postnatal, extremely easy Pilates sequence. After simply moving my body for 20 minutes.. stretching, lengthening, connecting to my core... I cramped up horribly. My uterus was contracting as intensely as when I first started breastfeeding. I had to lay on the couch for over an hour until the pain stopped. What the hell ?! This was such a foreign feeling. I hardly even did anything ! Lesson learned the hard way !!
I didn’t try to do anything other than take walks until one month postpartum. I went back to the fit shop, my favorite neighborhood gym. I took a class and kept up pretty well. I was definitely a beginner in that first class back. I couldn’t lift what I normally would have. I couldn’t run fast. And I COULDN’T DO ONE SIT UP! I will never forget laying down and literally falling backwards when trying to do a sit up. I felt like I needed to earn the name "Pilates Body" if I ever wanted to hear it again.
Little by little I gained my strength, endurance and core back. It wasn’t easy, but I think I’m even stronger now than I was before. For me It wasn’t as much about weight loss as it was about just feeling like ME again. Fitness is a part of my identity. I so craved that feeling.
To any of those mamas wondering if their body will ever be the same.. the short answer is no. You have broken your body in half to create another life. Nothing will ever be the same. But, your body will look and feel amazing if you work for it !!